March 14, 2014
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City agencies collaborating to provide temporary housing to residents of nearby buildings under vacate orders
REBNY to provide 15 apartments on the East Side for displaced residents, New York State Association for Affordable Housing to assist with securing temporary and long-term apartments within the community
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today met with New Yorkers displaced by Wednesday’s explosion and building collapse in East Harlem, and announced a range of efforts underway to ensure every displaced resident has safe, stable housing.
City agencies are collaborating to provide temporary housing to all residents whose buildings are currently under vacate orders due to rescue operations or lack of heat, with a focus on placing them within the immediate neighborhood.
The Real Estate Board has arranged for 15 apartments on the East Side to be available for up to three months for displaced residents, and is working with city housing agencies to seek out long-term housing arrangements. They will be joined by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, whose members own and operate a significant number of buildings within East Harlem, and will coordinate with city agencies on both temporary and long-term housing for families affected by the tragedy.
“In moments like this, New Yorkers have always come together to lift each other up. We don’t want any parent lying awake tonight questioning where their children will sleep tomorrow. These families will have the support of their community and their city, as they have from the moment this disaster struck. I am so deeply grateful to all the partners who have stepped forward to help these families through crisis. It’s a testament to the compassion of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“New York always comes together in difficult times, and the Real Estate Board of New York is hopeful that our support of both the community and the individuals impacted will provide a small measure of comfort in dealing with this tragic incident,” said REBNY President Steven Spinola. “We will continue to work with the city to provide a longer term solution for those who were impacted and hope that our partnership with Mayor de Blasio will help ease recovery efforts for all those affected.”
“The building explosion that occurred earlier this week was a tragedy for the families impacted, the community and the city as a whole. It is in responding to such events when the city and its people are at their best. The real estate community is pleased that it can help contribute to that response and the city’s recovery,” said REBNY Chair Rob Speyer.
“As President of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, I have been reaching out to our members in an effort to identify as many apartments as possible for the residents of this East Harlem neighborhood who have been displaced. As developers and landlords, our mission is to understand the needs and concerns of our tenants, and we are committed to doing all we can to assist the community in this time of need,” said Don Capoccia, New York State Association for Affordable Housing President.
City Agencies have vacated a total of 91 apartments in four surrounding buildings due to the damage from the explosion and safety concerns from the ongoing recovery efforts at the site. A comprehensive effort is underway by city agencies working with building owners and utility companies to make repairs and restore essential building services as expeditiously as possible, so that the properties can be returned to a safe and habitable state and tenants can return home. Repair work will be ongoing throughout the coming weeks and will vary based on the needs of individual buildings. All safety issues will be thoroughly addressed before tenants return to their apartments.