Puerto Rican evacuees advocate for more FEMA housing as time runs out

With a deadline looming, Puerto Rican evacuees are running out of time to receive funding for more FEMA housing.

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Thousands of evacuees who were forced to flee the island for Central Florida received funding to pay to stay in hotels in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

But some don’t know where they will live once the funding runs out on March 20.

“The owner of the hotel we’re staying in is checking them out. They have nowhere to go,” said a translator for evacuee Genette Marrero.

A group of these evacuees along with others struggling to find housing pleaded to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the rest of the Orange County Commission on Tuesday to support two pieces of legislation that would protect the Sadowski Affordable Trust Fund.

The evacuees said the fund, which focuses on affordable housing, has been depleted over time.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs agreed with the group’s request, and said this problem is not unprecedented.

"What you are experiencing is the same thing unfortunately that so many of our citizens across the region were experiencing before you got here,” said Jacobs.

Although the mayor said she will introduce a resolution to show the commission’s support, it will be an uphill battle to get support from Tallahassee.

The commission plans to take up the issue at their March 6 meeting .

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Lee Fry