Summer has officially started. For households without air conditioning, high temperatures are uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. This is especially true for residents most at risk of heat-related illnesses, such as those with heart conditions, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation may be able to provide air conditioning to eligible Virginia Beach homeowners during the season through its Emergency Home Repair Program.
The program provides low- and moderate-income homeowners with affordable loans for home rehabilitations that are not of a cosmetic nature, but are required to remove health and safety hazards. Now through Sept. 30, eligible households with a written statement from a licensed physician stating that air conditioning is medically required for a household member, may have defective air conditioning equipment replaced under the program. The program applies to equipment that is part of an existing central heating and/or air conditioning system.
Other eligible activities include replacing defective heating equipment (that is part of an existing central heating and/or air conditioning system) in the winter; correcting electrical, gas and plumbing hazards; correcting defective roof/ceiling assemblies in life-threatening situations; and making accessibility and usability modifications. The program is not intended for making routine maintenance repairs to systems or equipment.
Loans are available to Virginia Beach homeowners who meet income and other eligibility requirements. Assistance is provided based on the availability of funding. Program details can be found at www.vbgov.com/emergency-home-repair.
The department’s home rehabilitation programs are now operated by nonprofit partner, Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation (VBCDC). For more information or to apply for assistance, contact Marc Thornton at VBCDC at 463-9516.
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