Top New York politicians wanted Monday that Congress foist new rules on privately-run housing complexes that receive federal subsidies in the after-effects of the dreadful Bronx housing tower fire that left 17 people dead — as well as eight children.
The new rule would demand landlords to install temperature monitors in buildings where tenants receive housing vouchers to guarantee that apartments are receiving the essential amounts of heat.
FDNY officials are of the opinion that the primary cause of the fatally fire was a space heater in a third-floor apartment at the high-rise at 333 East 181 Street — and some crashing self-closing doors allowed the life-threatening smoke to speedily fill the building.
“We have to ask ourselves what was the deeper cost. Why were tenants using fire heaters in the first place. And the answer has to do with the chronic lack of heat and hot water,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx). “Space heaters are often a cry for help and a cry for heat, often an act of desperation for decent and dignified housing.”
Torres was joined by Mayor Eric Adams, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and many other state and federal lawmakers at the press conference, which happened in the shadow of the ruined apartment tower.
“We must harness the power of technology Ike heat censors to hold landlords accountable for delivering sufficient heat and hot water because the residents of the Bronx deserve nothing less than safe, decent affordable housing,” said Gillibrand.
Added Adams: “This is an excellent initiative that is not only useful here in New York but it can be imported throughout the country.”