Judge Extends Housing For Puerto Rican Hurricane Evacuees

Activists rally in support of Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria, on the steps of City Hall, April 19, 2018 in New York City. Many Puerto Rican natives left the island last fall to escape the destruction left by Hurricane Maria and some are living in New York City in shelters and hotels as part of Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Transitional Shelter Assistance Program. With nearly 200 families receiving the FEMA benefits that fund hotel and shelter stays in the city, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has written a letter to FEMA asking the agency to extend sheltering assistance benefits beyond the May 14 deadline. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — Hundreds of Puerto Rican hurricane evacuee families living in hotels across the U.S. can stay there for at least three more weeks.

Judge Timothy Hillman of Massachusetts' federal court granted the extension Tuesday. He says a restraining order temporarily blocking their evictions from the hotels will remain until at least midnight July 23, allowing them to stay until checkout time the following day.

The vouchers for evacuees displaced by Hurricane Maria last September were initially supposed to expire last Sunday.

There were about 1,700 families living in hotels Saturday, but the number was about 950 on Tuesday.

FEMA said it will comply with the order and notify hotels that the program has been extended, but said it has no further comment.


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