State steps in to keep a roof over heads of Puerto Rican families

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–  45 hurricane disaster refugee families from Puerto Rico on the verge of being evicted by FEMA from their temporary housing at hotels here in Connecticut are being housed by the state.  Thousands of hurricane refugees have come to Connecticut and most have found housing or are staying with family members. 187 remain in hotels and and 45 have been told by FEMA they no longer qualify for temporary housing.

These families are spread across the state at hotels in New Haven, Waterbury, New Britain and Shelton. Seven have been staying at a Red Roof Inn in Hartford.  Last Friday we told you that these families were facing eviction the next day. After Governor Malloy and Senator Blumenthal intervened, FEMA extended their temporary shelter benefit til mid February but then abruptly changed their mind yesterday.

Related: Housing benefits extension to Puerto Rican families halted

They got a knock at the door and were told to pack and get out. Carmen Cotto saying,  “We’re not here for pity and we’re not here for handouts.”  Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) adding,  “FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, has fallen down on the job. They have failed to fulfill their most basic obligation to provide assistance in times of emergency and desperate need.”

The state has stepped in to provide assistance for these American citizens, who’se homes were destroyed and still have no electricity or running water.  FEMA says their homes are habitable.  Senator Blumenthal has requested that FEMA at Puerto Rico actually ascertain that’s true and wants the temporary assistance to be provided until at least the end of the school year. The state assistance will last until February 1st.

We’ve also been asked to report that if there are any other Puerto Rican storm refugee families in this situation, you should call the state’s 2-1-1 help line for assistance.