Harsh Indiana winter dries out state’s summer cooling program

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 17, 2014)– Hoosiers who rely on the state for financial help paying their utility bill are going to have to find another way to stay cool this summer.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority announced plans to cut funding to the summer cooling program. Cheyrl Shelton, with Community Action of Greater Indianapolis, said the winter heating assistance program dipped into the funding for the summer cooling program.

“We had a very severe winter and a lot of the funds were depleted at that time so we didn’t have a lot of funding for the summer cooling program,” said Shelton.

Last summer, the program provided $50 towards the utility bills for those who qualified. It helped about 19,000 people in Marion County and about 130,000 statewide.

“We definitely feel for them but there are other resources available out there they can check with their church, their county trustee offices, they may have some funds available,” said Shelton.

Katherine Anderson and her roommate, Dottie Cruise, spend their days at their Beach Grove home. They are without air conditioning, and it’s taking its toll.

“It’s been a sauna,” said Anderson.

Dottie said she cools off in the shower and worries about her chronic heart condition as the temperatures continue to rise.​

Luckily, CICOA, Aging and In-Home Solutions donated an air conditioner, but those who were relying on the state for funding are going to have to look elsewhere.

“I know it’s a little hard for our clients,” said Shelton.

The state has set up an emergency assistance program to help those who receive disconnection notices through August 2014.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Summer cooling participants could also be eligible for air conditioners (after submission of required medical affidavits)
  • Existing clients who received air conditioners before May 30, 2009 or prior years may be eligible for new units.
  • Households who received units between June 1, 2009 and August 30, 2013 are ineligible at this time.
  • Households with central air conditioning are ineligible for this assistance.
  • Hoosiers who heat their homes through deliverable fuels, like propane, wood or oil, may apply for the summer fill program.
  • Clients wishing to participate must provide documentation as required during the winter heating season.
  • Eligible clients can receive up to an additional $400 in crisis assistance. ​

 

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