On Sunday, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel Squadron gathered with community activists and displaced residents at the scene of April’s Grand Street fire. In a mid-day news conference, Silver touted a bill waiving bank fees for disaster victims in need of replacement safe deposit keys.
In April, several residents who lost their homes in the fire reported that banks wanted to charge them to access their safe deposit boxes. Silver, Squadron and the tenant advocacy group, Asian Americans for Equality, quickly stepped in. As a result the banks agreed to make exceptions for the fire victims.
The legislation is intended to make sure the fees are automatically waived for the victims of future disasters. The bill passed the Assembly yesterday. Squadron has introduced identical legislation in the Senate.