FEMA on January 24 abruptly reversed temporary housing extensions for Puerto Rican families displaced to Connecticut. In response to a letter from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and requests from other state officials, FEMA had agreed three days before to extend the eligibility for the Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program for 36 Puerto Rican families who relocated to Connecticut. The agency then reversed the decision without warning, stating that 24 of the families were no longer eligible for the program because their homes in Puerto Rico had been deemed “livable.” FEMA officials could not explain why the families’ eligibility for the TSA program was not verified prior to the extension. Connecticut officials have pushed back against this decision, citing the frequent disconnect between inspectors’ and survivors’ accounts of damage to homes.
NLIHC, on behalf of the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC), submitted a letter to FEMA urging that it immediately work to address the medium- and longer term housing needs of low income people displaced by the hurricanes. Among other things, the DHRC urges FEMA to take immediate action to work with HUD to stand up its Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP).
Read the press statement from the DHRC at: http://nlihc.org/press/releases/8727