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Hurricane Evacuees In Mass. Get Extension On Hotel Assistance

Evacuees from Puerto Rico gather in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, facing a housing crisis.
Greg Saulmon
/
The Republican / MassLive.com/photos
Evacuees from Puerto Rico gather in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, facing a housing crisis.

A Massachusetts federal judge has granted a reprieve for refugees from Puerto Rico staying in local hotels since Hurricane Maria last year. 

The judge is directing Federal Emergency Management Agency officials to continue providing transitional shelter assistance to evacuees through August 6.

Emily Rodriguez, with the advocacy group Pioneer Valley Project, said that's a relief for the affected families.

"It means that for them they're being heard," she said. "It means that people are treating them as humans and for the first time they feel like they are being seen."

Still, she said groups like hers are hoping for a more permanent solution.

"What they really need is a permanent place, a permanent house or something that they can start to start their life again but in a secure place, a place where they can get a job, start working," Rodriguez said.

FEMA assistance was set to expire this week.

This report was originally published by WBUR.

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