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Non-English-Speaking Parents Turn to WhatsApp Groups for COVID Support

Plus: Everything you need to know about fire and safety rental rights, and Bronx tenants fear they could face fires next

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Many Bangladeshi parents in parts of central Brooklyn were given the impression that a new “mandatory” COVID policy had been implemented in their children’s schools during winter break. The Bangla version of the city’s message, which in English used the words “strongly encourage,” read like a requirement. Educators and advocates who work with immigrant families say changes in COVID rules have been confusing for those who speak limited or no English, and it is often challenging for them to get clarity about the protocols. Chalkbeat

Everything You Need to Know About Fire and Safety Rental Rights

📍 Documented Original
Following the recent fires in the Bronx that took the lives and homes of immigrants, members of our WhatsApp community have asked us questions regarding their rights as tenants. New York law requires landlords to provide a safe, well-maintained structure that is secure and free of vermin, leaks and other hazards. Tenants are also protected from discrimination and harassment, as well as from eviction without proper procedure. We created a city-backed guidance that informs immigrants of how to protect themselves as tenants.

Tenants in building Owned by Twin Parks Landlord in the Bronx Fear They Could Face Disaster next

Residents of Stratford Tower, which shares the same owners as the Bronx building that recently saw a deadly fire, have raised concerns about potentially hazardous issues in their own building. Like in the Twin Parks building, Stratford Tower tenants say they have had no choice but to rely on electric fireplaces or space heaters — the same equipment that sparked the fire last month. Stratford Tower tenants are demanding repairs in the 129-apartment building, and are also complaining about smoke alarms that do not function well. Several tenants were still without heat as of this week. THE CITY

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