NEW YORK (PIX11) — PIX11 News has covered your stories this summer, of extreme heat and its impact on New York City seniors.   

Now one state senator is pushing legislation that she says would help remove barriers to low-income seniors getting access to free or reduced-price air conditioners.  

At Harlem senior day here on 125th Street, Senator Cordell Cleare says seniors are enjoying their summer outside but inside many seniors are suffering in their homes.   

It’s too hot and are unable to afford air conditioning units.  Her top priority right now is helping low-income seniors beat the heat.  

Senator Cordell Cleare from Harlem is pushing legislation that would eliminate the medical eligibility requirement attached to a program called HEAP, a state program that helps older New Yorkers get air conditioners at a reduced price.  

PIX11 News has covered stories from Harlem to the Bronx of seniors unable to afford to buy air conditioners this summer.   

Last month we visited the Patterson houses in the Bronx. 

These seniors have a cooling center, but Gloria Anderson would go home, without an air conditioner, and it felt dangerously hot.  

After a PIX11 News story, a viewer named Denise Norwood immediately donated and delivered 30 air conditioning units to Gloria and her neighbors.  

Loraine Cortés-Vázquez, the commissioner for New York City’s Department of Aging, says the key is funding.  According to the state, $15 million in federal funds were allocated.   

A spokesperson for the New York States Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance tells PIX11 News, “The Home Energy Assistance Program is an invaluable resource utilized by many low-income New Yorkers annually, including thousands of households that relied on cooling assistance during this year’s summer months. While OTDA does not comment on pending legislation, we would readily welcome any additional funding that would allow us to expand any component of this critical program.” 

Older residents looking for services, they can call Aging Connect at 212-244-6469 or visit