New York City officials working to help residents impacted by Twin Parks fire
New York City officials provided an update Friday afternoon into what they are doing to help residents impacted by the fatal Twin Parks fire.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and several elected officials held a news conference in the Bronx to provide an update on what the city is doing to help impacted residents.
Mayor Eric Adams held a separate news conference to brief the ethnic media, something Adams said is important when it comes to getting the correct information out to the victims and their families.
Adams said that, so far, the mayor's fund has raised $2.2 million.
Starting Saturday, each of the households impacted will receive gift cards worth $2,250, totaling $265,000 overall.
When asked if the amount is enough to satisfy their needs, Adams said that this is just the beginning.
"The more we're able to raise, the more we can get down to the families. This is a starting point, not an ending point," Adams said.
Gibson also said that additional funds will be dispersed in coming weeks and months.
She also shared that Amazon has provided 125 air purifiers for those living at the building.
Gibson was joined by Rep. Ritchie Torres, Assembly Member Yedulka Tapia, Council Member Oswald Feliz and the Office of Emergency Management to name a few.
All of them said they are thankful for the first responders, schools, organizations and community for coming together in the wake of the tragedy.
As for what is next for those living at Twin Parks, the Office of Emergency Management said only 23 of the apartments are uninhabitable. OEM officials said nine of them will be short-term fixes and the remaining 14 will require long-term repairs.
Gibson said, ultimately, it's up to the tenants to return.
"Even if it has been deemed habitable, you will not be forced to return," Gibson said.
City officials said they'll continue to work with those tenants to find new permanent housing.
As for the rest, their hotel stays will be covered through Jan 24. Then, the city will work with them to find permanent housing.
"We are working with local groups to find housing, appropriate housing long term," said OEM Deputy Commissioner Christina Farrell.
These elected officials said they are now taking action when it comes to laws regarding space heaters.
RELATED: Bronx lawmakers introduce fire safety legislation recommendations in response to Twin Parks fire
"We're going to be taking city legislative action, or more specifically, requiring additional HPD inspections when there's violations related to self-closing doors or violation when it comes to laws regarding fire safety," Feliz said.
Moving forward, many funerals for the victims have been scheduled for this weekend.
Torres said state lawmakers are working with the U.S. embassy in Gambia to expedite visas for family members of the deceased so they can make it to the United States to attend.
"If you're a family member who wish to come to the U.S. to attend a burial of a relative, you must submit an application to the U.S. embassy in Gambia," Torres said.