FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program continues to create uncertainty for survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. Approximately 1,700 survivors of Hurricane Maria were told they no longer qualified for TSA and would need to leave their hotels by April 20. After requests from a number of officials - including Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló - FEMA granted a blanket extension to allow households to remain in hotels until May 14. FEMA also granted a TSA extension through May 31 for Hurricane Harvey survivors. FEMA also determined, however, that certain areas have enough available rental units to reabsorb those who had been renting before the storm and asked approximately 1,400 people to check out of their hotel rooms by April 24, giving these families less than a week to vacate. Homeowners were allowed to stay.
Thousands of families displaced by the 2017 hurricanes are still without long-term housing solutions. Hotel rooms are over-crowded, and families lack access to kitchens and simple household items. A recent CNN story details the struggles that survivors, especially Puerto Rican families displaced to the mainland, face trying to find stability.
In a recent op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel criticizes FEMA’s housing recovery response and calls for longer-term housing assistance through the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP).
Read Diane Yentel’s op-ed calling for DHAP at: https://bit.ly/2vB78fl