Judge extends housing assistance to Puerto Ricans until Aug. 5

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge has added another week extension for displaced Puerto Ricans staying in mainland hotels using vouchers through a FEMA program.

The end of FEMA's Transitional Housing Assistance program will affect people who were displaced by Hurricane Maria last September and have been unable to find permanent housing for many reasons, including a shortage of affordable housing in Florida.

The federal agency planned to end the program June 30 after spending more than $432 million on lodging for tens of thousands of hurricane survivors over 10 months. Nonprofit LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a federal complaint on behalf of the individuals living in hotels and a federal judge ordered a temporary injunction on the evictions.

Federal Judge Timothy Hillman, in Massachusetts, previously extended the program until July 24 allowing attorneys for the government more time to prepare its argument. Hillman extended that stay again on Thursday until Aug. 5, according to Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).

 

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