Local officials announce money available to help Bronx fire victims recover

Darla Miles Image
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
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Darla Miles reports local elected officials announced money is available to help victims of the deadly Bronx fire recover.

TREMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- Local elected officials announced money is available to help victims of the deadly Bronx fire recover.

The financial help includes replacing personal items, finding a new place to live and even helping to pay for flights to bury victims in their home counties.

"No one necessarily wants to return live in a building in which they have to relive those images every single day," Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson said.

While the smoke has cleared from all 19 floors of Twin Parks, for many, it will never feel like home again.

"Even if your apartment is deemed safe and you can return, physically, if you chose to move, to relocate we are going to honor that, no question," Gibson said.

On Tuesday afternoon, city and federal officials gave assurances to all fire victims, not just those with extensive damage on the third floor, that they have many relocation options.

The building is privately owned and participates in several federal and state subsidized housing programs that require families to live there.

WATCH | Congressman Ritchie Torres speaks out after deadly Bronx fire

But Sen. Charles Schumer has stepped in and sent a letter to HUD urging it to "act immediately in accordance with current law" to "facilitate voucher conversions."

"During a tragedy, they become tenant based instead of being attached to the apartment, they are attached to the tenant," Schumer said. "These vouchers will find them right away, a place to live nearby."

To help with other expenses, like replacing smoky clothing and furniture, victims are encouraged to apply to verified relief efforts like the Mayor's Fund and the Gambian Youth Organization.

"We will have other announcements later on this week of other partners that are going to be offering monetary relief, such as gift cards and other measures," Gibson said.

And there has been $460 million allocated by Congress for state and local fire prevention and safety programs to keep tragedies like this from happening again.

"We encourage the city and the state of New York to apply for the federal funding to support our local fire department," said Congressman Ritchie Torres.

ALSO READ | How you can help families affected by Bronx fire

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