NEW YORK –  New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Francisco Moya released the below statements calling for the creation of an emergency fund for final resting arrangements for all New Yorkers. 

“Many low-income communities of color have been the hardest hit by this terrible virus, and the cost of burying or cremating a loved one can be out of reach. The HRA program that the City currently has to help pay for death arrangements is not sufficient. To be eligible, both the deceased and the person applying must provide a social security number. We are a proud city of immigrants, and know that one doesn’t need to have a social security number to be a New Yorker. So much about this virus is unfair, including its disproportionate impact on black and brown New Yorkers. We must create an emergency relief fund for final resting arrangements for all New Yorkers,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Nobody is immune to this disease but low-income New Yorkers, particularly undocumented immigrants, are the most vulnerable and disproportionately affected. One of the most devastating calls I’m regularly getting is from people who can’t afford to bury their loved ones and aren’t eligible for any assistance. That’s simply not acceptable —not when our mantra from the start has been ‘We’re all in this together.’ We must create an emergency fund to help all low-income New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status, put their loved ones to rest,” said Council Member Francisco Moya.