U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, expressed frustration Wednesday over FEMA’s decision to not offer Disaster Housing Assistance Program to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, offering that the federal government owes these evacuees better.
The senators, who urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency last month to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in offering the program to help hurricane survivors, continued to raise concerns about the number of evacuees seeking long-term housing solutions.
They further pledged to continue pressing the issue on Capitol Hill and working with families in Massachusetts who were impacted by last year’s storms.
“FEMA’s response is frustrating. We owe our fellow U.S. citizens displaced by the hurricanes much better,” the senators said in a statement. “We’re actively working on legislative solutions to address FEMA’s inadequate response and to provide longer-term housing solutions to evacuees. And we are continuing to work directly to help families in Massachusetts who are affected.”
Warren and Markey, whose offices have repeatedly called on FEMA to extend shelter assistance deadlines in recent months, asked the agency’s administrator, William “Brock” Long, in an April 20 letter to immediately enter an agreement with HUD “to stand up the Disaster Housing Assistance Program and address the medium- and longer-term housing needs” of Puerto Rican evacuees.