The Federal Emergency Management Administration will cease providing housing assistance for about 1,000 Puerto Rican families in the U.S., NBC News reports.
FEMA has confirmed that 987 Puerto Rican families have until noon on Friday to check-out of the hotel rooms paid for by the federal government. A federal offer for one-way plane tickets to Puerto Rico also ends on Friday, which could leave families stranded with no place to stay.
A spokesperson for the agency told NBC News, "The hurricane was almost a year ago. This is not a long-term program, it's supposed to be temporary."
Last month, federal judge Timothy Hillman ruled that he could not compel FEMA to extend the program, even though many of the families “do not appear to have any place to go once the program ends,” and “may well be rendered homeless.”
"FEMA supports disaster survivors in their recovery process with many different housing programs, and we provide survivors all assistance that they are eligible for under the Stafford Act," the agency added.
"After other past disasters, longer-term disaster housing assistance has been used to help survivors get back on their feet," National Low Income Housing Coalition president Diane Yentel told NBC. "It's not too late for FEMA to do so now. The last thing the federal government should be doing is knowingly causing homelessness for disaster survivors."
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