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Cummings and Plaskett Request Information on Trump Administration’s Decision to End Temporary Housing For Thousands of Hurricane Maria Survivors

Aug 15, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (August 14, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Stacey E. Plaskett from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment, sent a letter to FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long, requesting a briefing on the decision to end FEMA’s transitional sheltering for Hurricane Maria survivors.

According to recent press reports, thousands of Americans living in temporary housing after evacuating Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria will be homeless at the end of the month unless FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program is extended.  Those same press reports indicate that FEMA is telling survivors, some of whom have serious medical issues, to leave the mainland United States and return to Puerto Rico.

“Exceptional events call for an exceptional response,” the Ranking Members wrote. “FEMA has excused its inadequate response to Hurricane Maria by referring to the unprecedented destruction wreaked by last year’s hurricane season. A refusal by FEMA, however, to extend temporary housing aid for Hurricane Maria survivors would treat those survivors as if their needs are not also unprecedented.”

Governor Ricardo Rosselló, as well as Members of Congress, requested that FEMA activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program that was used following Hurricane Sandy.  That request was denied.

The Ranking Members requested a staff briefing by August 17, 2018, on the decision to not extend the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, how Congress can help provide shelter to the thousands of Americans effected by Hurricane Maria, and the denial of Governor Rosselló’s request to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program.

Click here to read today’s letter. 

115th Congress