(PRINCETON, NJ: February 5, 2018) Nearly six weeks after the tragic December 27 fire at Griggs Farm, the 34 displaced residents are transitioning from emergency housing to temporary housing, working closely with the non-profit Princeton Community Housing (PCH) and the Human Services Department (HSD) of the municipality of Princeton to identify places to live for the next 10-12 months while their homes are repaired. While some displaced residents have been staying with family or friends, PCH has been voluntarily paying for emergency housing for the remaining majority at an extended stay hotel.  Challenges remain for identifying temporary homes.  PCH seeks donors and community organizations to help residents with this transition from emergency housing to temporary homes, as noted below. 

The wonderful outpouring of gifts increased PCH’s emergency resources to lengthen the term of the emergency housing and provide other aid. This included the Matching Challenge from kind anonymous donors, who gave $36,000 to double the impact of gifts during January 2-23 from over 180 other donors giving from $10 to $5,000. Other gifts for emergency housing before and after this Match have also been very generous. PCH has also distributed to the residents the many donations of gift cards, clothing, food, and monetary aid given via the GoFundMe drive organized by Send Hunger Packing Princeton on behalf of PCH. In addition, volunteers have helped residents sort through and dispose of personal belongings damaged during the fire.

Because the reconstruction of the Griggs Farm building by the Griggs Farm Condominium Association will take at least 10 months, PCH and HSD have been working intensively with each household, to encourage them and to help them identify potential places and resources, so that households can maintain school, employment and other community ties. For instance, several households who currently receive federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be eligible to receive additional federal funding to help subsidize temporary housing rent. Only some of the renters had renter’s insurance. Some individuals and community organizations have kindly stepped forward with housing opportunities.Yet, finding affordable local residences is extremely challenging. While PCH provides affordable homes to over 1,000 residents in Princeton, these homes are filled and wait lists are 12-24 months. Other affordable housing options are also very limited. PCH will continue to work with households, as needed, to help identify longer-term temporary housing options and temporary housing financial assistance.

Individuals or organizational representatives with housing options are asked to contact PCH immediately. In addition, PCH continues to seek donors and community organizations who may be willing to provide temporary housing rental assistance on behalf of the households that do not have renter’s insurance, SSI resources, or other resources available to bridge the gap between the rent they paid at Griggs Farm and the rent they will pay at their temporary housing. Donors can also continue to give gift cards to PCH, which PCH will distribute to the residents.

To make a tax-deductible gift to PCH’s Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund, to help in this transition to temporary housing: 1. Mail or bring your check, made payable to Princeton Community Housing and noted for “Griggs Farm Fire Relief,” to:
Princeton Community Housing
One Monument Hall (Lower Level)
Princeton, NJ 08540

2.  give securely online via credit card at: https://www.princetoncommunityhousing.org/support-pch/donate  or https://princetoncommunityhousing.networkforgood.com/ Please indicate “Griggs Farm Fire Relief.”

Thank you for your ongoing kindness in helping the displaced Griggs Farm residents and in strengthening our vibrant, diverse, and welcoming community that is home to people of many income levels participating together. ###