Michael Appleton / NYC Mayoral Office
Governor Kathy Hochul announced this Sunday the allocation of 2 million dollars to assist families affected by the deadly fire a week ago in the Bronx that left 17 people dead, of which 8 were children.
The funds, funded through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Emergency Needs Program and through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Housing Trust Fund Corporation, will provide tenants rental and relocation assistance services to help address critical household needs.
“When I met with the tenants affected by the fire in a Bronx building, including many who immigrated to our state in hopes of finding a better life, I could see the unspeakable pain in their eyes and vowed to help them get back on their feet,” he said. Governor Hochul in a statement.
“Everyone affected is part of our New York State family and we will provide them with the support they need to get back on their feet. I want those affected to know that we will not forget them, we will not abandon them, we are here to help them,” he added.
In addition, the Office of New Citizens has promised to provide assistance to immigrants displaced by the fire who have pending procedures with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USCIS).
For its part, the New York City Human Resources Administration is coordinating immediate relief efforts and is also providing burial expenses for victims.
The Red Cross also provides accommodation for victims for up to two weeks and monetary assistance to the families of the deceased.
The fire occurred on Sunday, January 9, when a damaged electric heater caught fire and burned a mattress on the second floor. The residents of that apartment rushed out of the house, leaving the door open and that caused the fire and smoke to rise rapidly through the 19 floors of the building, where 118 apartments were distributed.
The fire, one of the deadliest in the last 30 years, set off alarms about the review of security protocols in buildings. Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres suggested this week the formation of a federal coalition to determine in depth what happened to prevent tragedies like this not only in the city but in the rest of the country.
“We are going to examine issues related to the manufacture of space heaters, the use of space heaters in residential homes, sprinkler systems, automatic closing doors, fire and smoke alarm systems,” Torres said in statements collected by the Daily. News. “We have to make sure that the lessons learned from this event become laws that prevent future tragedies.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.