(May 3, 2018 – La Fortaleza, San Juan) Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló informed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has notified the last extension of the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program (TSA) until June 30 for families who are currently staying in participating hotels of the program after the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
In addition, FEMA announced that there will be assistance to fund transportation back to Puerto Rico for families that are staying in TSA hotels in other jurisdictions of the United States.
“We thank FEMA for listening to our request and granting this much needed extension to Puerto Ricans who are staying in other United States jurisdictions through the TSA program. We hope that this is an opportunity for Puerto Ricans who so long for it to return to the Island, return to normalcy, and join the recovery process of the Island,” said the chief executive.
Rosselló also thanked all the congressmen and congresswomen who supported this claim to ensure the best resources for the American citizens living in Puerto Rico.
The extension of the TSA program through June 30, as well as the transportation assistance, is intended to provide time for hurricane survivors to obtain long-term housing solutions.
To find out if they qualify for transportation assistance, FEMA will conduct outreach to the applicants currently checked into TSA hotels to discuss availability. If the applicant wishes to return to Puerto Rico, they will be offered instructions for their travel arrangements.
FEMA will provide direct payments to airlines to cover the cost of airfare, up to $100 in baggage costs, and pet fees. Direct payments will not be provided to participants or reimbursed to participants who have already returned to Puerto Rico.
All service animals and reasonable accommodations must be identified prior to booking airfare. Minor children must travel with at least one adult household member. Costs for meals, ground transportation, or shuttle services are not eligible under this service.
TSA is a short-term emergency sheltering program. The Government of Puerto Rico and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are responsible for long-term housing.
As of May 3, there are 2,310 families checked into TSA-participating hotels in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico. Of those families, approximately 10 percent have expressed interest in returning to the Island.
FEMA has assisted more than 7,000 families through TSA since last October.
The federal agency is actively working with social service agencies and nonprofit organizations to assist survivors in their transition process to obtain more stable and long-term housing solutions.
FEMA has paid more than $1.2 billion in Individual Assistance grants and the Small Business Administration (SBA) has paid more than $1.5 billion in lowinterest disaster loans.