Sunday, January 16, 2022

Governor Hochul Announces $2 Million in Assistance for Tenants Displaced by Deadly Bronx Fire

 Governor Kathy Hochul New York State Seal

Funding to Provide Case Management, Personal Property Replacement, Relocation and Rental Assistance, and Assistance with Other Critical Needs for New Yorkers Impacted by East 181st Street Apartment Fire 

 Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $2 million in assistance to help tenants impacted by the deadly fire at a 19-story high-rise apartment in the Tremont neighborhood of the Bronx on January 9. Funded through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Emergency Needs for the Homeless Program and through New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund Corporation, this assistance will provide tenants with case management services, personal property replacement, and relocation and rental assistance to help address critical household needs.

“When I met the tenants affected by the apartment fire in the Bronx, including many who immigrated to our state with hopes of finding a better life, I could see the unspeakable pain in their eyes, and I pledged to help them recover," Governor Hochul said. “All those affected are part of our New York State family, and we will help give them the support they need to recover. I want those impacted to know that we will not forget you, we will not abandon you, we are here for you.”

Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, “The entire state of New York mourns with those affected by the tragic fire in the Bronx, an unimaginable tragedy that took the precious lives of sons, daughters, wives, husbands, and friends. Governor Kathy Hochul and I both know that no words can take away the pain of the loss faced by family members and friends of those who were taken from us too soon. Through the victims compensations fund, we will provide our fellow New Yorkers with whatever support they need, and we are committed to doing so—in lockstep with the City of New York—in the coming months and years.”

Under Governor Hochul’s direction, OTDA will work with BronxWorks, a non-profit organization contracted through the state’s Emergency Needs for the Homeless Program, to provide emergency housing case management and benefits assistance to those affected by the tragic fire. BronxWorks will provide intake staff at the service center New York City established at Monroe College’s Ustin Hall, which is located nearby the non-profit organization’s offices.   

BronxWorks will provide fire victims with case management services, personal property replacement, relocation assistance, rental assistance, burial assistance, and other support to help meet critical household needs such as loss of income due to the death of a household member. Displaced households may receive additional assistance depending on their circumstance. 

The Office for New Americans is currently working to connect impacted individuals with immigration legal assistance as needed.

Homes and Community Renewal has engaged CVR, a national organization focused on administering Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and providing relocation assistance. This organization will help provide support to families wishing to relocate. 

The fire that broke out at a duplex apartment on the second and third floors of the high-rise killed 17 residents, including young children, and injured more than 40 others. At the time, there were 118 occupied units in the building.   

The Emergency Needs for the Homeless Program provides for the emergency needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless. Funds are used to augment existing programs that provide stabilizing services and move these individuals and families toward self-sufficiency.  

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