Tenant seeks help after fire destroys apartment

Posted: Updated:
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT -

A Brooklyn tenant is seeking help after a fire destroyed their apartment earlier this year.

Ayana Brathwaite and her four children were not home when flames tore through their apartment at the New York City Housing Authority's Tompkins Houses in May, resulting in catastrophic material damages for the family.

The Red Cross stepped in to help and provided the family with a hotel for a few nights. Then NYCHA offered them temporary housing nearby while repairs were made to the apartment, which is standard procedure.

Brathwaite can now move back in, but she can't afford to replace what she lost, including furniture.

NYCHA says that it's not the agency's responsibility to reimburse tenants after a fire. It does, however, connect tenants with nonprofit partners, like the Red Cross or a charity, to help with furniture replacement, clothing and any other needed social services.

In the meantime, Brathwaite says she and her children will stay in their temporary home, waiting for help.

Renters insurance could help in such situations, and NYCHA says that nothing stops tenants from getting it if they want to protect their property.

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