Deadly fire in Bronx: Local officials announce money available to help victims recover

TREMONT, Bronx (WABC) — Local elected officials have announced funds are available to help recover victims of the deadly Bronx fire.

The financial aid includes replacing personal items, finding a new place to live and even paying for flights to bury victims in their own provinces.

“Nobody wants to return live to a building where they have to relive those images every day,” said Vanessa Gibson, president of Bronx Borough.

Although 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 considered safe and you can physically return, if you choose to move, we will no doubt respect that,” Gibson said.

On Tuesday afternoon, city and federal officials assured 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.

VIEW | Congresswoman Ritchie Torres Speaks Out After Deadly Bronx Fire

But Senator Charles Schumer has intervened and sent a letter to HUD urging the company to “act immediately in accordance with current law” to “facilitate voucher conversions”.
“During a tragedy, they become tenants instead of being attached to the apartment, they are attached to the tenant,” Schumer said. “They immediately find these vouchers, a place to live nearby.”

To help with other expenses, such as replacing smoky clothes and furniture, victims are encouraged to apply for verified relief efforts such as the Mayors Fund and the Gambian Youth Organisation.

“We will be making other announcements later this week from other partners who will be offering money, such as gift cards and other measures,” Gibson said.

And $460 million has been allocated by Congress for state and local fire prevention and safety programs to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening again.

“We encourage the City and State of New York to apply for federal funding to support our local fire service,” Congresswoman Ritchie Torres said.

ALSO READ | How to Help Families Affected by Bronx Fire

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