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State offers cooling relief for needy


Low-income residents can take advantage of $22 million program

Alex Ewald June 27th, 2011

Low-income households in Oklahoma can apply for summer cooling-system funds of at least $200 starting July 11, by which the state’s dog days of summer will be well under way.

money

The federal government gave the state Department of Human Services (OKDHS) about $22 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that would help income-eligible residents are vulnerable to summer heat to pay for summertime cooling systems, according to a news release.

A one-person household would receive $200, while a household of two or more would receive $250.
Some 48,000 families and households already receiving assistance from the department are automatically eligible. They will receive a letter before the application period begins.

OKDHS spokesman Mark Beutler said the number of assisted households is expected to grow this year, after the state gave funds to nearly 93,400 households last summer, including 29,096 in the counties of Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland and Pottawatomie.

CRUEL SUMMER
This summer, from mid-June through August, is Oklahoma’s hottest time of the year, according to the National Weather Service. While not the hottest on record — that goes to the deadly summer of 1936, when more than 32 people died statewide from the 100-degree-plus temperature on July 19 — the state’s well-known heat still will come in waves.

From July through September, the Oklahoma City area is more than 50-percent likely to be higher than the median of 79.3 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the weather service.

OKDHS will take applications throughout the summer until funding is used up.

Six regular OKDHS centers exist in Oklahoma County, three in Cleveland County, two in Canadian County and one in Pottawatomie County. For your closest center and more information about the program, visit the OKDHS website

ELIGIBILITY
The size of household and allowable monthly net income to apply for cooling system funds are, according to OKDHS, as follows:

1/$1,174
2/$1,579
3/$1,984
4/$2,389
5/$2,794
6/$3,200
7/$3,605
8/$4,010

—Alex Ewald

 
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