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Ruling Cuts Off Funds for Hurricane Maria Victims

Government-funded housing provided to Hurricane Maria victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will end following a court ruling.
September 5, 2018

Government-funded housing provided to Hurricane Maria victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will end after U.S. District Judge Timothy Hillman rejected a petition to keep funding in place. The judge told the agency to continue to pay so the evacuees can remain until Sept. 14. “While this is the result that I am compelled to find, it is not necessarily the right result,” wrote Hillman. He added that he could only apply the law and not require FEMA “to do that which in a humanitarian and caring world should be done.”

Lawyers for a group of Puerto Ricans pursuing the lawsuit argued that FEMA’s decision to terminate aid violated their due process rights. They also said FEMA’s support was unequal compared to how it aided victims of other U.S. hurricanes in 2017.

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico with winds close to 150 miles per hour on Sept. 20, 2017. A study commissioned by the territory’s government and released last week found that the storm caused about 2,975 deaths, not 64 as counted previously.

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