Deputy secretary of HUD visits Englewood senior complex badly damaged by Ida
The deputy secretary of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development visited Englewood on Monday – a town that is still dealing with recovery from Ida nearly one month after the storm.
The Tibbs Senior Housing Complex in Englewood remains closed following the storm, along with its 152 units. The front lawn of the complex features generators and tubes used to dry out the first floor and basement. In all, 22 apartments were destroyed.
It could take at least six months before anyone could live in the units again.
The complex is located right in front of the Overpeck Creek. The storm sent water from the creek rushing inside of the building. Over 100 seniors were forced to evacuate during the storm.
“Right now, they’re split up into two hotels,” says Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes.
One of the hotels is the Crown Plaza in Englewood. The seniors have a room and meals. But what they really need is a permanent living situation. The seniors living at the hotel tell News 12 New Jersey that they were instructed not to speak with the media.
The mayor said that it was upsetting to him to hear that anyone felt restricted to speak. He says that as far as he knows, no one has told the residents not to speak with the media.
Mayor Wildes says that he is looking for help for the seniors and for the building.
“It’s too much for the city and county to shoulder and it’s really, in my opinion, up to the federal government to step up,” says Wildes.
This is why HUD Deputy Secretary Adrian Todman came to New Jersey.
“As the deputy secretary of HUD, I will take back to [Secretary Marcia Fudge] and the White House what I have seen here today – to double down on what this community needs to make sure seniors can come back,” Todman says.
The deputy secretary says that for immediate needs, Englewood should be able to access FEMA and some of the $20 billion in relief aid that was just approved by Congress. She agreed with local officials that the goal is to get the seniors back in their homes.