Connecticut announces plan to assist Puerto Rico, USVI hurricane evacuees with housing
SAN JUAN – Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Monday that the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) has developed an allocation plan “utilizing a $600,000 appropriation that was included in the recently adopted bipartisan state budget adjustment bill” for the purpose of ensuring housing assistance for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“There’s no denying that last year’s hurricanes were some of the worst on record, but in the aftermath the federal response has been shameful,” Malloy said in a release. “Hurricanes Irma and Maria left the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without electricity, without food, and without shelter. These American citizens should receive the same disaster assistance that they would receive if they lived in any other area of our country.”
Many evacuees sought shelter in Connecticut and were offered federal Transitional Shelter Assistance, which allowed individuals and families to secure temporary funding for emergency hoteling but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began terminating that assistance in January.
“Working with our colleagues across state government and in the nonprofit sector, we have developed a coordinated response that has helped more than 200 households find permanent housing or who have been diverted from homelessness. Disaster case managers continue to work with approximately 100 more households to address their immediate needs. While we are aware there are other individuals and families who are living with family or friends, the exact number is still unknown. They have yet to come forward for assistance, but when and if they do, the State of Connecticut is prepared to help them,” Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein adds in the release.
The $600,000 appropriation will be allocated as follows:
- $250,000 will be used to provide 100 households with first month’s rent/security deposit;
- $300,000 will be used to provide 300 to 600 households with general diversion assistance; and
- $50,000 will be used to provide six months’ worth of case management services.