By: Anthony Hill
Reporter - WFTS Tampa Bay
LARGO, Fla. — If you’re an older adult behind on your utility bill or have a broken air conditioner, your local Area Agency on Aging may be able to help.
"Not too warm in here today,” said Ernest Back, looking at his thermometer. “It's only 81 degrees, 71% humidity because outside on the porch, it's 92 to 94 degrees," said Bach.
Bach has been living in his Largo apartment building for 38 years and he knows first-hand the cost of paradise is rising.
"It's been devastating to many in the low-income brackets and including senior citizens," said Bach.
Bach said he went through two summers without an air conditioner before calling the Area Agency on Aging for assistance. They were able to help him buy a new $6,000 air conditioning unit through their EHEAP program. The program provides financial assistance to older adults who are past due on their utility bills or need a new air conditioner.
"Thank goodness because the heat is repressive," said Bach.
Many older adults, like Ernest, depend solely on their social security to survive, which means this program has helped many.
"Seniors are having to make really difficult choices between paying their electric bill and buying food," said Ann Marie Winter with the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas.
The organization knows for many of our area's older adults, forgoing an electric bill to save money is simply out of the question. "Seniors who need electricity to run their oxygen tanks, to run their CPAP machines must have electricity," said Winter.
So, here are the requirements:
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