WASHINGTON – FEMA announced today that it is granting Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello's request for an unconditional extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program until June 30 and will offer transportation back to Puerto Rico for families who remain in the TSA program in the continental U.S.
FEMA also announced that this will be the final extension of the program for Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
This announcement is part of the ongoing and unprecedented support for disaster survivors of hurricanes Maria and Irma. Since October, FEMA has provided hotel rooms for more than 7,000 families through the TSA program and is continuing to help those in need find longer-term housing solutions. Approximately 2,300 families remain in TSA-participating hotels in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico.
Survivors currently participating in the TSA program now have 60 days to solidify their recovery plans to locate longer-term housing. FEMA is actively working with social service agencies and non-profit organizations to assist survivors, as well as providing direct assistance. FEMA is continuing to provide eligible survivors various forms of short-term housing assistance, including rental assistance, temporary housing through a direct-leasing program, and funds to make repairs to their homes.
The government of Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are leading the implementation of long-term housing recovery efforts. Congress has appropriated and HUD has awarded nearly $20 billion in disaster-related Community Development Block Grants to Puerto Rico to support long-term housing recovery efforts.
Case management teams are working with disaster survivors to match resources with needs. Case managers are available to survivors in Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. to assess disaster-related needs, guide survivors through the FEMA appeals process, help develop a personal disaster recovery plan and connect them with additional resources, including housing and financial assistance.
For those individuals interested in taking advantage of transportation back to Puerto Rico, FEMA will conduct outreach to the applicants currently participating in the TSA program.
FEMA will continue working with state agencies, voluntary organizations, and other federal agencies, to provide one-on-one case management to survivors to help them move from TSA and on to their next solution to address their unmet needs. TSA is designed to provide emergency shelter in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Like a congregate shelter, TSA is only intended to be short term, and a stop in their journey to longer term housing. Eligible applicants can utilize rental assistance money already provided to them to secure other forms of temporary housing during home repairs.
FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.
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