Air assistance

Audubon Area holds hope for cooling aid | New

Last week brought the hottest weather of the season so far with heat indexes nearing 110 degrees.

The air conditioners were running almost constantly.

And Robyn Mattingly, director of social support services for Audubon Area Community Services, says she knows many families will struggle to pay electricity bills.

But this summer, the agency has no funds through the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program for cooling assistance.

For the past two years, Mattingly said, the agency has received assistance with heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.

“People are used to us having money for cooling aid,” she said. “But at the moment we don’t have a cooling program this year.”

Mattingly said, “We’re crossing our fingers that some come in.”

She said the agency never had cooling assistance until 2020.

This was part of the COVID aid sent to the communities.


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Mattingly said: “There’s always a need because people are going to struggle this summer with the heat and all the inflation.”

She said: “Even though people have a swimming pool to cool off in, with the heat it’s like bath water.”

Between July and Oct. 31, 2021, $532,600 in grants were awarded through Audubon Region’s LIHEAP summer cooling program, Mattingly said earlier.

During the same period, $432,000 was awarded in crisis payments.

Grants ranged from $50 to $400 and up to $800 for those facing disconnection.

It is money that is not available this year.

Just last month, the state sent out a press release that read, “Kentucky Community Action Agencies are accepting applications for the cooling component of the Energy Assistance Program Spring Grant. home for low-income households. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until June 17, 2022 or until designated funds are exhausted. This year’s spring grant will help Kentuckians stay cool as temperatures rise. Households up to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines can receive a one-time benefit to offset home electricity costs. The amount of the benefit granted is based on that of a household.

But so far, Mattingly said, Audubon Area has received no money for the program in this area.