We are sorry you’ve had this difficult experience, the New York City Council offices are here to help you navigate it.We are sorry you’ve had this difficult experience, the New York City Council offices are here to help you navigate it.
This can be a challenging, trying experience, and taking care of your mental health is important. NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL or 1-888-692-9355 (Español).This can be a challenging, trying experience, and taking care of your mental health is important. NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL or 1-888-692-9355 (Español).
The uncertainty of this situation is part of what makes this so challenging. Below is a broad overview of what you should focus on for the next few days, weeks, and months.The uncertainty of this situation is part of what makes this so challenging. Below is a broad overview of what you should focus on for the next few days, weeks, and months.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- Once the fire has been extinguished, The Fire Department (FDNY) will declare it safe for city agencies to enter.
- Fire Marshals will do an inspection of the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
- Department of Buildings (DOB) will assess the structural integrity of the building, and potentially issue vacate orders of the premises, or any part thereof, are deemed to be unsafe.
- The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will do an inspection of your unit, apartment, to determine if it is habitable, and can, within their discretion, issue vacate orders.
- A vacate order means that your unit is not safe to live in. It is not an eviction order, and it means that you will not owe any rent to your landlord while the vacate order is in effect.
- The Red Cross does an immediate assessment of your needs, such as food, clothing, medicine, etc. If your home is not safe to return to, Red Cross can provide housing assistance for 24 to 48 hours in a hotel. After this period, the Red Cross can assist with referrals to HPD and HRA.
- Everyone qualifies for Red Cross help regardless of your legal / citizenship status. Your status and any other information will NEVER be shared with anyone without your direct permission.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR LANDLORD BE DOING?
After the fire has been extinguished, the building management should send workers the same-day to board up any broken windows, holes in the roof, or other access points.
Your landlord has their own insurance policy, and that insurer will likely come to do an inspection to determine liability for the landlord and any next steps. Your building management will hire vendors, (likely paid for by their insurance company), to do clean-up, remediation, and rebuilding of the building and your unit.
Testing should be done by their clean-up company for asbestos. If you are concerned about the company’s thoroughness, you can also call 311 and request that a Department of Environmental Protection inspector come to take samples for testing. This will immediately pause all clean-up efforts taking place, but will create a guarantee that the affected area will be sufficiently remediated for asbestos.
Your landlord will hire the construction company to rebuild any damage in your unit. They will submit applications for permits to the Department of Buildings, and once those permits have been approved, work will begin.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
Take pictures of everything in your home. Any space you can access and every item should be photographed for any future claims and the ability to inventory what’s been damaged.
If you have renters’ insurance, file your claim and alert the insurer about your situation, so they can provide the benefits you’re entitled to. Confirm with your insurer if you need to provide any additional written notice as described in your policy in order to access your coverage and loss of use benefits.
Call your gas and electricity providers to suspend service (contact info below).
In the coming days and weeks, workers and inspectors will need access to your home. Given that you may not be living nearby, this may be difficult to coordinate. Purchasing a lockbox for your door with a spare set of keys inside and a phone number to call for the code will be helpful in moving the work forward without having to be physically present. You can also request that the building management or their insurer purchase or reimburse you for this lockbox. If you did not connect with Red Cross immediately following the fire, you have 14 days from the incident to register with the Red Cross. You will need to verify you lived in the residence that you were displaced from.
Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL or 1-888-692-9355 (Español).
Human Resource Administration (HRA)
How can HRA help:
- Money for clothing and furniture replacement
- Emergency One-Shot Deal Funding (The One-shot deal is an assistance that HRA provides to those who can prove they were involved in a catastrophic event and suffered losses)
To the ACCESS HRA Website: please visit https://a069-access.nyc.gov/accesshra/ in order to access the following services: SNAP Benefits (food stamps); Cash Assistance; HEAP; Medicaid; Fair Fares NYC
Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
(212) 863-7660 email@example.com – Relocation Assistance Services & Section 8 Vouchers (subject to availability)
When HPD Issues Vacate Orders to Make Repairs
The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)
DHRC is a State Agency that monitors Affordable Housing
DHCR’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal is responsible for the supervision, maintenance, and development of affordable low-and moderate-income housing in New York State. DHCR performs a number of activities, including oversight and regulation of the State’s public and publicly assisted rental housing; administration of the State’s rent regulations and protection of rent regulated tenants; and administration of housing development and community preservation programs, including State and Federal grants and loans to housing developers to finance construction and renovation of affordable housing.
HUD RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: NEW YORK
There are other opportunities for affordable housing in addition to the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program and HUD subsidized public and private housing.
HUD Subsidized Apartments
HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. To apply, contact or visit the management office of each apartment building that interests you. There are also several subsidized rental programs administered by New York State and New York City listed below. Click each link for additional information.
Tenant Protection Unit
NYS Homes & Community Renewal
Tenant Protection Unit
641 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
DEP manages the City’s water supply, and reduces air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution.
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps low income households pay the cost of water and sewer services. The program can assist households who have past due bills (arrears) for water and/or sewer services.
DISASTER RELIEF REOURCE CONTACTS
The Red Cross
Disaster Relief 24 hours/7 days a week
- The Red Cross
Click one of the links below to download the NYC Residential Fire Emergency Response Guide: