NewsRegion East HillsboroughBrandon


Puerto Rico governor agrees to extend housing assistance for Hurricane Maria victims

Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 18:43:34-04

Time was running out for the Gomez family who lost their home during Hurricane Maria and had been living in a Brandon hotel since mid January.

The family of seven faced sleeping in their mini-van because they were losing their hotel room paid for by FEMA on Friday.

RELATED: Puerto Rican families living in Brandon losing FEMA hotels before apartments are ready

U.S. lawmakers from Florida worked to change Puerto Rico Governor's mind, and wrote a letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló asking them to change their decision.

To read the entire letter, click here.
"We asked for it to be extended again,” said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, (R) Florida. 
"We've been pushing hard,” said U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, (D) Florida. 
Their efforts were successful today after stories like the Gomez family’s surfaced around our state. 

The Governor changed his mind, offering an unconditional extension for these families until May 31, but FEMA must approve his decision. 

The deadline would have made nearly 600 families who relocated to Florida homeless again-- this time by red tape, not hurricane.
After our story aired on ABC Action News, we learned a private donor stepped up and paid the Gomez family's hotel bill.