Mayor’s Fund releases $3M, relocation housing available in Melrose for Twin Parks tenants

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The Adams administration announced that they are distributing $3 million from the Mayor’s Fund — which has raised $4.4 million — and are offering a relocation option in Melrose.
Photo Adrian Childress

After two months of uncertainty regarding the total amount raised for Bronx fire victims, the Adams administration announced Wednesday that it was delivering $3 million in cash assistance to more than 150 households impacted by the Twin Parks North West high-rise fire that killed 17 people.

Since the Jan. 9 fire, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has raised a total of $4.4 million between monetary and in-kind donations, approximately $937,000 of which has been spent so far on cash assistance, food, burial services and more, the mayor’s office said in a statement. Local organizations, displaced tenants and the Bronx Times had been pressing the administration to release up-to-date numbers prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

A City Hall spokesperson told the Times that due to the nature of individualized relief efforts for tenants and fluid contracts for housing and dining, the Mayor’s Fund and additional funding sources from charities and celebrity donations were being used to accommodate an ever-changing situation.

The spokesperson clarified that in the two months since the fire, families affected by the fire were being taken care of.

“New York City made a vow to help the more than 150 families who suffered through the unspeakable tragedy at Twin Parks, and we are continuing to deliver on that promise day after day,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a statement. “These families will soon see an additional $3 million begin to roll into their pockets to help them with food, housing, household items, or anything else they lost. But we are in this for the long haul, since picking up the pieces will not come easy, so we’ve chosen BronxWorks to cut the bureaucratic red tape and provide those affected with wraparound services over the next 12 months to help get families back up on their feet.”

BronxWorks, a community partner with the Mayor’s Fund, will be tasked with distributing the $3 million and will receive an additional $500,000 in funding to provide services and longer-term support over the next 12 months to those affected. Adams said that the agency — which has been stretched thin with too few case workers for too many families, according to local sources — will “serve as a single point of contact” for families in need.

“Since January, BronxWorks has provided ongoing case management services to families affected by the fire to assist them in rebuilding their lives after this devastating and traumatic event,” says Eileen Torres, executive director of BronxWorks. “We are grateful to Mayor Adams and the Mayor’s Fund for bolstering this response and engaging with us to ensure families have the long-term support they need.”

Adams, however, did not specify a timetable for distribution of the funds.

The administration also announced that they would be designating La Central — a new, mixed-use, affordable housing development in the Melrose section — as a relocation destination for tenants who do not want to return to the Twins Park North West building.

Community Board 5 officials previously told the Times that the lingering scent of smoke in the Twin Parks apartments could trigger health problems, and post-traumatic stress from the fire were reasons for residents opting to relocate, even if their apartment was salvaged in the cleanup.

Families wishing to relocate to La Central or move back into Twin Parks are being provided financial assistance in the form of moving credits and furniture credits, according to the mayor’s office.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at rsequeira@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes. 

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