MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Byrd Barr Place providing A/C units to qualifying low-income families

Apr 22, 2024, 4:50 PM

byrd barr place a/c...

Air conditioning external units are seen on the façade of a building July 25, 2023. (Photo: Andrew Medichini, AP file)

(Photo: Andrew Medichini, AP file)

With a near 60% chance of above-normal temperatures throughout the state this summer, according to the University of Washington, Byrd Barr Place is offering energy assistance for lower-income households, including gifting available air-conditioning (A/C) units to those in need.

“We are currently accepting applications for our energy assistance programs that support households with paying your energy bill, repairing or replacing your furnace, refilling your oil tank and receiving a new A/C unit,” Byrd Barr Place stated online.

More on Washington: With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court will weigh bans on sleeping outdoors

Byrd Barr Place uses the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Puget Sound Energy Home Energy Lifeline Program (PSE HELP) to support low-income households.

The average one-person household under LIHEAP makes $1,823 per month, the average two-person household makes $2,465 and the average three-person household makes $3,108. To be eligible for an A/C unit, the person or household must be approved for LIHEAP during the current program year, which Byrd Barr Place is accepting applications for through the summer.

“Households that qualify for LIHEAP may also get support to pay a past-due balance on your energy utility bill, or receive financial aid to cover past-due rent if facing eviction,” Byrd Barr Place stated.

To qualify for PSE HELP, the household income needs to be 80% or less of the area median income in the county the household occupies.

The nonprofit Byrd Barr Place has supported more than 5,500 individuals with its food bank and has provided more than 6,600 energy assistance grants for local families. The board of directors selected Angela Griffin, Ed.D., as its new CEO last August.

You can find the nonprofit at 722 18th Avenue in Seattle. Byrd Barr Place’s services will be needed as the state sees an unusual drought.

A lower-than-average snowpack and forecasted warmer weather in both spring and summer have led the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) to make a drought emergency declaration for most of the state. It’s the fourth-earliest drought declaration on record in Washington, according to DOE.

More on Washington’s drought status: What led to Washington drought as wildfires, rainbows on the horizon

For a state-wide drought to be declared in Washington, there needs to be less than 75% of the normal water supply and risk of “undue hardship.”

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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Byrd Barr Place providing A/C units to qualifying low-income families