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Puerto Rican Families In Connecticut At Risk Of Losing FEMA Assistance Given Reprieve

Several Puerto Rican families live in the Red Roof Inn, left, in Hartford under FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program.
Ryan Caron King
/
WNPR
Several Puerto Rican families live in the Red Roof Inn, left, in Hartford under FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program.

State officials say that several dozen Puerto Rican families who were at risk of losing federal housing assistance could now have their stay in Connecticut extended until mid-February.

FEMA had extended Transitional Sheltering Assistance -- or TSA -- until March. The program houses families who left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in hotels and motels.

But some families receiving assistance in Connecticut were deemed ineligible for renewal -- leaving several families to pack their bags over the weekend not knowing if they would have a place to live.

State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection spokesperson Scott Devico said the state provided emergency assistance to families who stopped receiving TSA over the weekend.  

He said Governor Dannel Malloy had also asked for an extension of TSA for the ineligible families.

“Governor Malloy’s request for an extension of the TSA program was granted by FEMA over the weekend,” Devico said. “That extension will now make those individuals eligible for TSA assistance until February 14.”

Daniel Llargues, a spokesperson for FEMA, said it’s up to the families to get in touch with FEMA to determine the assistance that best suits their individual needs.

“It’s based on the needs of the survivors, based on what they are looking for and what they need to transition from something temporary to something more permanent,” he said.

Llargues said that evacuees should not assume that their TSA will be automatically extended until the program’s end date in March.

Copyright 2018 Connecticut Public Radio

Ryan Caron King is a freelance multimedia reporter atWNPR. As an intern, he created short web videos to accompany some ofWNPR'sreporting online. As a student at the University of Connecticut, he managedUConn'scollege radio stationWHUS, where he headed an initiative to launch a recording and video production studio. Ryan graduated fromUConnwith a Journalism/English double major in 2015.
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