Humane Housing & Displacement Prevention for 89th Street Tenant Families post 8-alarm fire // Vivienda humanitaria y prevención de desplazamiento para familias inquilinas de la calle 89 después de un incendio de 8 alarmas

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, HPD Dept of Housing Preservation & Development, Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Queens Borough Pres Donovan Richards, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, Rep. AOC


On April 6, 2021, a historic 8-alarm fire in Jackson Heights, Queens destroyed the top 2 floors of the building where the fire started and left a cascade of damages throughout the 2 building complex affecting all units. Overnight, over 500 of our tenant neighbors became displaced. Nine weeks later, we still don’t have a timeline of when we can return home. Many of us have lost everything we owned, loved, and worked hard to attain over the span of our lives. The rest of us are separated from our belongings due to a strict vacate order. Thankfully, all of us survived the fire. From day one, the 89th Street Tenants Unidos Association has worked endlessly to demand humane policies and support for the nearly 2 0 0 families affected by this tragedy who are struggling with the aftermath of being displaced in a worsening housing crisis amid a struggling pandemic economy.

Over the past 2 months, we, working-class families including essential workers and public servants, have experienced firsthand the failures and neglect of a system tasked to assist the housing insecure, and an agency tasked with preserving affordable housing and keeping our neighborhoods affordable:


  • We have been scattered throughout various hotels, most of which are far from our homes, workplaces, healthcare facilities, and schools.

  • We have been repeatedly pressured to enter the shelter system despite not one HPD family shelter existing in Queens.

  • We have been obligated to provide photo IDs as part of our emergency housing applications, creating a burdensome hurdle for many families who have lost all documentation in the fire and or can't access our IDs.


The cumulative effect of the aftermath of the fire has caused retraumatization. We have been neglected, pushed out, and disrespected over and over. Now, with just days until our June 20th eviction from the hotels, on Father's Day, we face uncertainty and instability 1 week before school officially ends and graduations commence. The Tenants Association's very existence and mission are to work together to prevent displacement and build a strong community IN OUR COMMUNITY, therefore:

We call on our Jackson Heights community and neighbors across the 5 boroughs to demand tangible, humane policies from both Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) with the support of our elected officials to help the 89th Street families by:


  1. Providing a humane extension of hotels until mid-September, 2021, for our families lodged in hotels. We need more time to find housing as close to our community as possible in time for the new school year;

  2. Expanding housing options closer to our neighborhood and securing vouchers for tenants to be able to rent temporarily in our community until we can return. Given that no HPD shelter centers exist in the largest, second most populated borough, HPD must pilot a Displacement Prevention Program that will help future NYC residents affected by emergencies like fires, floods, etc.

We know that Mayor De Blasio and HPD can learn valuable lessons from our tragic experience as it surely will not be the last. Humane and sustainable housing policies that prevent community displacement are policies that all New Yorkers need and deserve. We are working families yearning to stay in our community, and as essential workers, we deserve no less. We hold our elected officials and Mayor deBlasio to their promise of working to make this “...a city where everyone rises together, and everyone has a safe and decent home” (Housing and Economic Development, May 2014, pg. 3).

- The 500+ Residents and Tenants of

89th Street Tenants Unidos Association

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NYC ALCALDE BILL DE BLASIO, NYC HPD DEPARTAMENTO DE PRESERVACIÓN Y DESARROLLO DE VIVIENDAS, CONSEJERO DANIEL DROMM, QUEENSBOROUGH PRESIDENTE DONOVAN RICHARDS, DEFENSOR PÚBLICO DE NYC JUMAANE WILLIAMS, SENADOR ESTATAL JESSICA RAMOS, ASAMBLEÍSTA JESSICA GONZALEZ ROJAS., REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ

El 6 de abril de 2021, un incendio histórico de 8 alarmas en Jackson Heights, Queens, destruyó los 2 pisos superiores del edificio donde comenzó el incendio y dejó una cascada de daños en todo el complejo de 2 edificios que afectaron a todas las unidades. De la noche a la mañana, más de 500 de nuestros vecinos inquilinos se vieron desplazados. Nueve semanas después, todavía no tenemos indicación de cuándo podemos regresar a casa. Muchos de nosotros hemos perdido todo lo que teníamos, amamos y por lo que trabajamos duro a lo largo de nuestras vidas. El resto de nosotros estamos separados de nuestras pertenencias debido a una estricta orden de desalojo. Afortunadamente, todos sobrevivimos al incendio. Desde el primer día, la 89th Street Tenants Unidos Association ha trabajado sin cesar para exigir políticas humanas y apoyo para las casi 200 familias afectadas por esta tragedia que luchan con las secuelas de ser desplazadas en una crisis de vivienda que empeora en medio de una economía pandémica.

  • Hemos estado dispersos en varios hoteles, la mayoría de los cuales están lejos de nuestros hogares, lugares de trabajo, centros de salud y escuelas.

  • Hemos sido presionados repetidamente para ingresar al sistema de refugios a pesar de que no existe ningún refugio para familias de HPD en Queens.

  • Nos hemos visto obligados a proporcionar identificaciones con fotografía como parte de nuestras solicitudes de vivienda de emergencia, lo que crea un obstáculo oneroso para muchas familias que han perdido toda la documentación en el incendio o no pueden acceder a nuestras identificaciones.

El efecto acumulativo de las secuelas del incendio ha provocado la retraumatización. Nos han descuidado, expulsado y faltado al respeto una y otra vez. Ahora, a pocos días de nuestro desalojo de los hoteles el 20 de junio, el Día del Padre, enfrentamos incertidumbre e inestabilidad una semana antes de que termine el año escolar y comienzan las graduaciones. La existencia y misión de la Asociación de Inquilinos es trabajar juntos para prevenir el desplazamiento y construir una comunidad fuerte EN NUESTRA COMUNIDAD, por lo tanto:

Hacemos un llamado a nuestra comunidad de Jackson Heights y a los vecinos de los 5 condados para que exijan políticas tangibles y humanas tanto del alcalde de Blasio como del Departamento de Preservación y Desarrollo de la Vivienda (HPD) de la ciudad de Nueva York con el apoyo de nuestros funcionarios electos para ayudar a las familias de la calle 89:

  1. Brindar una extensión humanitaria de hoteles hasta mediados de septiembre de 2021, para nuestras familias alojadas en hoteles. Necesitamos más tiempo para encontrar una vivienda lo más cerca posible de nuestra comunidad a tiempo para el nuevo año escolar;

  2. Expandir las opciones de vivienda más cerca de nuestro vecindario y asegurar vales para que los inquilinos puedan alquilar temporalmente en nuestra comunidad hasta que podamos regresar. Dado que no existen centros de refugio de HPD en el segundo municipio más grande y poblado, HPD debe poner a prueba un Programa de Prevención de Desplazamiento que ayudará a los futuros residentes de la Ciudad de Nueva York afectados por emergencias como incendios, inundaciones, etc.

Sabemos que el alcalde de Blasio y HPD pueden aprender lecciones valiosas de nuestra trágica experiencia, ya que seguramente no será la última. Todos los neoyorquinos necesitan y merecen políticas de vivienda humanas y sostenibles que previenen el desplazamiento de la comunidad. Somos familias trabajadoras que anhelan permanecer en nuestra comunidad y, como trabajadores esenciales, no merecemos menos. Exigimos a nuestros funcionarios electos y al alcalde de Blasio su promesa de trabajar para hacer de esta “... una ciudad donde todos se levanten juntos y todos tengan un hogar seguro y digno” (Vivienda y Desarrollo Económico, mayo de 2014, pág. 3).

- Los más de 500 residentes e inquilinos de

Asociación de Inquilinos Unidos de la Calle 89

Petition by
Andrew S
QUEENS, New York

To: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, HPD Dept of Housing Preservation & Development, Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Queens Borough Pres Donovan Richards, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, Rep. AOC
From: [Your Name]

On April 6, 2021, a historic 8-alarm fire in Jackson Heights, Queens destroyed the top 2 floors of the building where the fire started and left a cascade of damages throughout the 2 building complex affecting all units. Overnight, over 500 of our tenant neighbors became displaced. Night weeks later, we still don’t have a timeline of when we can return home. Many of us have lost everything we owned, loved, and worked hard to attain over the span of our lives. The rest of us are separated from our belongings due to a strict vacate order. Thankfully, all of us survived the fire. From day one, the 89th Street Tenants Unidos Association has worked endlessly to demand humane policies and support for the nearly 2 0 0 families affected by this tragedy who are struggling with the aftermath of being displaced in a worsening housing crisis amid a struggling pandemic economy.

Over the past 2 months, we, working-class families including essential workers and public servants, have experienced firsthand the failures and neglect of a system tasked to assist the housing insecure, and an agency tasked with preserving affordable housing and keeping our neighborhoods affordable:

- We have been scattered throughout various hotels, most of which are far from our homes, workplaces, healthcare facilities, and schools.

- We have been repeatedly pressured to enter the shelter system despite not one HPD family shelter existing in Queens.

- We have been obligated to provide photo IDs as part of our emergency housing applications, creating a burdensome hurdle for many families who have lost all documentation in the fire and or can't access our IDs.

The cumulative effect of the aftermath of the fire has caused retraumatization. We have been neglected, pushed out, and disrespected over and over. Now, with just days until our June 20th eviction from the hotels, on Father's Day, we face uncertainty and instability 1 week before school officially ends and graduations commence. The Tenants Association's very existence and mission are to work together to prevent displacement and build a strong community IN OUR COMMUNITY, therefore:

We call on our Jackson Heights community and neighbors across the 5 boroughs to demand tangible, humane policies from both Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) with the support of our elected officials to help the 89th Street families by:

1. Providing a humane extension of hotels until mid-September, 2021, for our families lodged in hotels. We need more time to find housing as close to our community as possible in time for the new school year;

2. Expanding housing options closer to our neighborhood and securing vouchers for tenants to be able to rent temporarily in our community until we can return. Given that no HPD shelter centers exist in the largest, second most populated borough, HPD must pilot a Displacement Prevention Program that will help future NYC residents affected by emergencies like fires, floods, etc.

We know that Mayor De Blasio and HPD can learn valuable lessons from our tragic experience as it surely will not be the last. Humane and sustainable housing policies that prevent community displacement are policies that all New Yorkers need and deserve. We are working families yearning to stay in our community, and as essential workers, we deserve no less. We hold our elected officials and Mayor deBlasio to their promise of working to make this “...a city where everyone rises together, and everyone has a safe and decent home” (Housing and Economic Development, May 2014, pg. 3).