East Harlem blast victims scramble to find permanent housing

Mayor’s Fund rental assistance to expire in July

May.May 22, 2014 12:15 PM

Two months after a pair of East Harlem buildings crumbled in the wake of an explosion, only two of the 13 displaced families have found permanent housing.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is paying the former residents’ rent for three months, sending those who still lack housing into a scramble to find new lodging, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“The biggest challenge that we hear is the people are frustrated that they haven’t found a permanent place to live,” Pura Cruz, an outreach coordinator with nonprofit LSA Family Health Service, told the Journal. “They’re anticipating help from [the city] and nothing really has happened.”

The city provided temporary housing in the wake of the blast.

Many of the blast victims want to stay in the neighborhood, but have low incomes and are surrounded by rising rents. In the two destroyed buildings, rents ranged from around $450 to $1,000 per month, with a few as low as $140 per month. Several were two or three-bedroom units. The average resident income, meanwhile, was about $25,900, according to Housing Preservation and Development Department data cited by the Journal.

“We are working with the families as well as our local sponsors to help identify permanent-housing options that meet the needs of each household,” a city Department of Housing Preservation and Development spokesperson told the paper, adding that the agency is also helping eligible families apply for rental assistance programs like Section 8. [WSJ]Julie Strickland

Related Articles

A rendering of 165 Broome Street (Credit: Handel Architects)

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

CHIP's Jay Martin 

“The landlord is just a collection agent for the city,” CHIP head argues

(Credit: iStock)

Analysis: As coronavirus spreads, here are all the active hot water violations in NYC

From left: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar (Credit: Getty Images)

Here’s how Bernie, Biden and the remaining presidential candidates would tackle housing crisis

From left: Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Candidates talk housing issues at Democratic debate

DSS commissioner Steven Banks with 148 West 124th Street (left) and 79 East 125th Street (right) (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

City will convert 14 apartment buildings into housing for homeless

A rendering of The Dime at 209 Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn (Credit: Fogarty Finger)

New city rule requires luxury rental buildings to house homeless families