Washington, DC – Today, Carlos R. Mercader, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, renewed the Government of Puerto Rico’s call to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to immediately extend its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program until June 30th, so that countless Puerto Rican families are not chaotically displaced once again.

FEMA’s TSA program is a temporary housing initiative aimed at displaced disaster survivors. Currently, TSA is available to Puerto Ricans who temporarily reside in the mainland United States due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. The program is set to expire on the 14th of May, with a midterm review set for Friday, April 20th. The Government of Puerto Rico has requested an unconditional extension of the program to prevent an interruption of TSA benefits to Puerto Rican families. If FEMA does not grant this extension prior to the April 20th midterm review, countless Puerto Rican families will be made homeless.

Please see below for Mr. Mercader’s April 18th statement:

Today, Carlos R. Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, issued the following statement on the extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program:

At the direction of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the Government of Puerto Rico formally requested an unconditional extension of the TSA program for Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria.

It is vital that FEMA approve this request immediately so that countless Puerto Rican families, who have lost everything as a result of this catastrophic disaster, are not once again uprooted in a chaotic fashion.

If FEMA does not approve the Government’s request, students currently finishing the school year in the mainland will be deprived of their education, as well as their housing.

With the help and support of the Florida, New York and numerous other congressional delegations that have come to the aid of Puerto Rico in our time of need, I am confident that FEMA will resolve this issue in a timely manner.