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Albemarle Woman Living Without Heat Gets New, Free System

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Pauline Johnson had been living without heat for months. Pauline Johnson had been living without heat for months.
The new heater was given and installed for Johnson free of charge. The new heater was given and installed for Johnson free of charge.
The project is through a partnership between AHIP and Beck Cohen. The project is through a partnership between AHIP and Beck Cohen.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A woman in Albemarle County is now enjoying warmth in her home thanks to a partnership between a business and an area nonprofit.

Volunteers with Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and employees from Beck Cohen teamed up to replace the heating system in Pauline Johnson’s home. The 50-year-old oil heater was replaced on Tuesday morning with a new gas propane heater at no cost to Johnson.

“It’s a very old furnace that shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did,” said Robert Buonomo, Heating and Air Conditional Manager at Beck Cohen.

Johnson has lived in her current house for most of her life and went to Rose Hill School. Her old furnace gave out a couple months ago and she has been using small space heaters since.

“I know that there are a lot of people in this country and in the city and in other counties that have to deal with this same heartbreaking situation,” said AHIP Program Director Jane Andrews. “When you’re on a fixed income, it’s hard to make a lot of the more expensive improvements to your house.”

The average cost to replace heating and cooling units can range between $5,000 and nearly $20,000.

“I’m very excited,” Johnson said. “God is good and AHIP is good.”

This is the first of 12 discounted installations happening in 2019 thanks to the partnership between the two groups. More about the program can be found here.