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Abrazo Boricua Asks Governor Rick Scott to Take Action Immediately and Help Puerto Rico Families Find Shelter Prior to June 30 Housing Deadline

Press Releases

Abrazo Boricua Asks Governor Rick Scott to Take Action Immediately and Help Puerto Rico Families Find Shelter Prior to June 30 Housing Deadline

Kara Watkins

ORLANDO, FL -- As the June 30th deadline for the FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance Program approaches, Abrazo Boricua, a coalition of over 10 civic, service, and advocacy organizations in the Orlando area released the following statement:

“We are soon approaching the 10 month mark since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and forced families to leave their homes and flee to the mainland. Many of those families came to Central Florida seeking to rebuild their lives. A main component of that rebuilding process includes finding a home to live in, and currently, the FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance Program -- which has helped house about 631 families nationwide and approximately 1720 individuals in Florida -- is set to expire this Saturday, June 30th, 2018.

“Currently, the State of Florida and local governments have neither approved nor allocated any funds to specifically address the hundreds of families fleeing Puerto Rico and making Florida their home. It is unconscionable that we have hard-working families and families caring for disabled and elderly members in critical need who have survived Hurricane Maria and remain living in hotels anxiously awaiting eviction because of Florida's low-wage economy and high rents. Governor Scott has the power to address this critical housing shortage and has failed our Puerto Rican evacuees and all Florida families currently on waiting lists for affordable housing.

“Abrazo Boricua is urging Governor Scott take executive action to help the families, including children, who will be left homeless and yet again left looking for a place to live after June 30’s FEMA shelter program deadline ends. The only resources these families have received have come from the federal government and it is past due that Florida elected officials, especially Governor Scott, step up and help provide the most necessary and essential resource of all: Housing.”