Rep. Soto Requests Full FEMA/Host-State Agreement Funding to Support Puerto Rican Evacuees in Florida


 Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Representative Darren Soto, along with Members of the Florida Delegation, sent letters urging the House Appropriations Committee and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fully fund the Host-State Agreement with Florida. The FEMA/Host-State Agreement provides direct reimbursement to the state of Florida for costs associated with evacuation and shelter support for Puerto Rican evacuees.


“Hurricane Maria decimated the Island of Puerto Rico, resulting in the evacuation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens to the mainland,” the letters state. “Despite Florida’s best efforts to assist Puerto Rican evacuees, our municipalities lack a sufficient supply of housing to accommodate the recent, and anticipated, arrivals of evacuees from Puerto Rico.”


The Host-State Agreement is funded by Congress and allows FEMA to provide direct reimbursements to Florida’s municipalities for housing, schools, medical care, transportation, and other necessary resources provided to evacuees.


In the letters, Members express concern that Central Florida lacks the sufficient resources to aid the more than 90,000 individuals who have recently arrived in the area from Puerto Rico, a number that is expected to increase significantly in the coming months.


In addition to Rep. Soto, the letters were signed by Representatives Stephanie Murphy (FL-07) and Dennis Ross (FL-15). Click here for the letter sent to Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey in the House Appropriations Committee, and click here for the letter sent to Administrator Long of FEMA.


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