The core function of government is to help people. This isn't about inconvenience, it is a public health and a public safety issue. City Hall needs to do better.
City hall should be focused on ensuring safety, and communicating clearly and effectively to residents. Unfortunately, this hasn't occurred so far. As mayor, the buck stops here. I would make sure that our residents were safe, they knew what was happening as it was happening, and they would know that they could contact me at any time and get results.
I would work with the residents, their private insurance companies, city insurance providers and others to ensure that every possible resource was made available to secure the safety and comfort of these families.
A quick inspection to check off the boxes of basic human habitability is not enough. Families should not be in unsafe homes. I would not have them return until I would be comfortable with my own family living there.
Beyond working with the families, I would proactively work with the DPW in assessing and addressing any other potential issues throughout the city, to stop another episode before it happens.