April, 7, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Queens Council Member Francisco Moya has called for the creation of an emergency relief fund to cover the cost of death arrangements for the families of COVID-19 victims of limited means.
Moya said this arrangement is needed for low-income families who are burdened with the cost of cremation or burial due to the coronavirus. He said the fund would also cover families of undocumented immigrants.
Moya, who represents East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, LeFrak City, and his native Corona has seen his district ravaged by the virus.
Corona has become the hardest hit neighborhood in New York City in terms of coronavirus cases and official data suggests that areas in the city that have a higher number of coronavirus cases may be linked to poverty. In Corona, about 20 percent of residents live below the poverty level.
“One of the most heartbreaking issues that constituents are calling me about is what to do when their loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly from COVID-19 and they don’t have the financial resources to make arrangements,” Moya said in a statement Friday.
“These families have two options: burial or cremation. For families who can’t afford the $925 cremation expense, let alone the cost of a burial, where can they turn?” he asked.
Moya said that the problem requires a government solution and called for unity during this crisis.
“When we say ‘we’re all in this together,’ we have to mean it. That means not abandoning our friends, neighbors and fellow New Yorkers in their time of grief and need,” he said.