(HEMPSTEAD, NY) – Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe (2nd District) thanked the many agencies and organizations that quickly and efficiently worked together to care for and shelter tenants displaced after a fire that raged through a Terrace Avenue apartment complex on February 19.
Additionally, Legislator Bynoe, who also serves as executive director of a federal housing authority, used her housing know-how to help secure permanent housing for three of the affected families after the fire damaged 18 units, and caused the evacuation of many more.
“When I learned that some of the fire victims were facing long-term displacement, I reached out to the Village of Hempstead, Glen Cove, Freeport, Rockville Centre, Town of North Hempstead Housing Authorities to find out if any of the displaced families were on the waiting lists for apartments – and in fact, four families were on two public housing authorities lists,” Legislator Bynoe said. “I confirmed that the housing authorities give special preference to those on the waiting list who are displaced in a manner such as this.”
As of right now, families in need of housing are in the process of being placed in both Village of Hempstead & City of Glen Cove Housing Authority properties. Today, two of the residents have been placed in housing, and another two are on track. “We have worked diligently to ensure we have policies in place to help families when emergencies occur,” said Marcia Turner, vice chair of the Village of Hempstead Housing Authority. On Friday the first set of keys to a new home were handed off to fire victim Natasha Blankumsee by the Hempstead Housing Authority. "It was great to begin getting settled this past weekend. It's been a tough couple weeks and having a new place to make a fresh start makes a big difference." Natasha said.
Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe was on the scene as fire fighters battled the blaze, which was accidently set by maintenance workers using a plumber’s torch.
Legislator Bynoe helped coordinate the efforts of county agencies, such as Social Services and Housing, along with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, to address the displaced families’ needs. “I am very grateful that the various government and non-governmental agencies were able to work together to help these families in the wake of this devastating fire,” said Legislator Bynoe. “And I’m happy that the Village of Hempstead & City of Glen Cove Housing Authorities’ not only had policies in place to assist people in this emergency, but that their Executive Directors, Rosemary Olsen of the Hempstead Housing Authority & Eric Wingate of the City of Glen Cove’s Housing Authority took immediate action to implement those policies.”