Florida Senators Call for Housing Solution for Displaced Puerto Rican Families

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) sent a letter on February 15 to FEMA Administrator Brock Long urging him to approve the Direct Lease Program for Puerto Rican evacuees. An estimated 200,000 Puerto Rican families have relocated from the island to Florida. “While the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program has provided many Puerto Ricans on the mainland temporary housing relief, this program is not intended to be a long-term housing solution,” the senators state. “The FEMA Direct Lease program, however, would provide much needed housing assistance directly to displaced Puerto Ricans who desperately need it.”

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló submitted a request to FEMA to expand the Direct Lease Program on January 31, but FEMA has not yet approved it, despite the thousands of families struggling to find affordable long-term housing solutions. The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) has called on Congress and FEMA to implement the HUD-administered Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) – a solution for longer-term housing recovery needs that was proven to be effective after previous natural disasters. See the DHRC’s recommendations to Congress, FEMA, and the administration at: http://nlihc.org/issues/disaster