Judge Extends FEMA Assistance Program For Puerto Ricans Displaced By Storm

A federal judge has blocked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from ending housing assistance for Puerto Rico residents displaced by Hurricane Maria. That block will hold true... at least for another day.

Nearly 1,800 Puerto Ricans were expected to move out Sunday from hotels on the island and the U.S. mainland but a federal judge based in Massachusetts ordered FEMA to extend the program until midnight on Tuesday, according to court records.

According to Sen. Bill Nelson, about 600 Puerto Rican families in Florida still depend on the FEMA assistance vouchers. Most of the Florida families opted to stay in the states and not to return to Puerto Rico when the vouchers were about to expire.

The order will allow families to stay at least until check-out time on Wednesday, the judge explained.

Hundreds of families are stuck in motels from New York to Florida. They have been cooking makeshift meals in microwaves, doing homework in hotel lobbies and learning the ways of life on the mainland.

Some have even relocated five or six times to avoid sleeping on the streets.

FEMA spent more than $432 million on lodging for tens of thousands of hurricane survivors who were left with no power or running water, damaged or destroyed homes and no school for their children, according to the agency.

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