Washington - Following recent earthquakes, more than 50 families have been relocated to hotels or motels on the island through the Federal Emergency Management Agency´s (FEMA) Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program.
At the request of the Puerto Rican government, the program was activated this week for residents in six municipalities - Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce, San Germán, and Yauco - who are eligible for housing assistance.
FEMA does not make public the list of hotels or motels available but offers alternatives directly to people who are eligible for the program. Until 6 p.m. Tuesday, FEMA had relocated 53 families in hotels or motels.
Initially, FEMA covers hotel costs for up to 45 days. Incidental expenses, such as room service, meals, telephone, laundry, and pet deposit, have to be paid by the family.
To receive the benefit, an individual must be a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. residence permit, complete their FEMA application, have no insurance coverage or sufficient insurance coverage, and have a FEMA housing assessment confirming their residence is not safe and requires repairs.
On the other hand, Puerto Rican Representatives José Serrano, Nydia Velázquez, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, along with Dominican Adriano Espaillat, asked FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to also activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to help Puerto Ricans who moved to the mainland following the earthquakes.
"Thousands of families have been forced to leave Puerto Rico for the 50 States, including New York because the earthquakes have destroyed their homes and livelihoods," said New York´s Democratic representatives.