Find out if you're eligible for an air conditioning unit

July 29, 2022

Is Multnomah County installing cooling units? 

Multnomah County crews install AC
Crews install an air conditioning unit in the home of a high risk client.
This spring, Multnomah County purchased 180 cooling units for certain high risk clients of Aging, Disability and Veterans Services and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Division. Since shipments arrived in May and June, Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services has installed nearly 100 units in clients' homes. Crews are continuing to install units as part of the late July heat emergency.

The Board of County Commissioners has also approved the purchase of 1,000 additional cooling units. The County has ordered these units, with the first shipment expected to arrive in August 2022. Priority will be given to those with the highest need, followed by those who live in East Multnomah County. 

Am I eligible for a cooling unit?

For now cooling units are only available to individuals and families receiving services through the Department of County Human Services who are identified as high risk. These include low-income older adults and people with disabilities.

The County is reaching out to eligible households through their case managers and service coordinators. 

These cooling units are not available on a first-come, first-served basis. But there are other ways that people in need of cooling can get help in the coming months. Below you’ll find more about two programs that are ramping up capacity:

Support from your health plan

You may be eligible to receive a cooling unit from your medical provider if you are covered by one of the following organizations: CareOregon, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy, OHSU Health, Providence. Contact Health Share Oregon for more information

  • Health Share Oregon
  • For people covered by Trillium Community Health Plan
    • Phone (877) 600-5472 | (541) 485-2155 | TTY 711 to request.
    • Website 
  • Oregon Health Authority Resources 
    • If you have issues or concerns with getting a unit or with a unit delivered to you, send an email to: OHA Ombuds Program at OHA.OmbudsOffice@odhsoha.oregon.gov
    • Phone 1-877-642-0450 - Message line only TTY 711 / Fax: 1-503-934-5023

Multnomah County energy resources

Multnomah County Weatherization: performs a home energy audit and home improvements for qualifying participants. Improvements may include some or all of the following:

  • Heating and cooling system repairs and/or upgrades
  • Ceiling, wall and floor insulation
  • Furnace inspection
  • Heating duct sealing
  • Air sealing
  • Ventilation
  • Energy education

Participants must meet income requirements and own or rent a site-built or mobile home (if you are a renter, landlord’s approval is required). 

Multnomah County Energy Assistance can help households with low incomes supplement home heating and electric costs. The program is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Efficient cooling units from the Portland Clean Energy Fund

Eligible Portlanders may access a portable or window cooling unit through the City of Portland Heat Response program. Nonprofit Community Distribution Partners  are selecting qualified recipients and providing installation in people’s homes, the City is not selecting recipients. There has been a lot of community need and the available units for this year have already been allocated. The Community Distribution Partners are registering recipients for next year.

Recipients must live in the City of Portland, and have an income that is 60% or less of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size. Installation is prioritized for people with low incomes and who also have two or more of the following risk factors:

  • Are over 60 years of age.
  • Have medical conditions that increase risk of heat-related illness.
  • Are living alone.

Learn more about how to get on a waiting list for a cooling unit from one of the Community Distribution Partners.