Evacuees seeking a place to live in Florida after Hurricane Maria wrecked their homes in Puerto Rico will get another two months of a program that allows them to use federal vouchers to live in hotels or motels.
FEMA has extended the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program, set to expire Jan. 13, to March 20, U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando announced Wednesday.
FEMA extended to program at the request of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, recognizing the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who fled to Florida in the past three months, but arrived in regions where affordable housing is scarce. Latest word from the Florida Division of Emergency Management is more than 300,000 people have traveled from the island to Florida since early October, though no one is certain how many have stayed.
“I would like to thank Puerto Rico’s Governor Rosselló for requesting and FEMA for approving a 60-day extension to the TSA/Hotel Voucher program,” Soto said in a news release. “This will help thousands of recent Puerto Rican families relocating to Central Florida with temporary housing. We will continue to work with the Puerto Rico Government to get a direct lease program and make sure we provide adequate housing assistance for those Puerto Ricans still in need.”