Gov. Malloy: State Announces Allocation Plan to Assist Hurricane Irma and Maria Evacuees With Housing
Strategy Created to Ensure that Evacuees Do Not End up in the Homeless System
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) has developed an allocation plan utilizing a $600,000 appropriation that was included in the recently adopted bipartisan state budget adjustment bill, which was adopted by near-unanimous votes in both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, for the purpose of ensuring housing assistance for evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands following the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria last year.
The plan, which was delivered to legislative leaders in a letter from DOH Commissioner Evonne Klein earlier today, continues the Malloy administration’s efforts to ensuring that evacuees do not fall into homelessness.
“There’s no denying that last year’s hurricanes were some of the worst on record, but in the aftermath the federal response has been shameful,” Governor Malloy said. “Hurricanes Irma and Maria left the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without electricity, without food, and without shelter. These American citizens should receive the same disaster assistance that they would receive if they lived in any other area of our country.”
Shortly after fleeing the devastated islands, many evacuees sought shelter in Connecticut and were offered federal Transitional Shelter Assistance, which allowed individuals and families to secure temporary funding for emergency hoteling. When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began terminating that assistance in January, the Malloy administration stepped in to ensure these evacuees would not become homeless. Through the dedication of many nonprofit housing providers working on the frontlines, Connecticut has focused on keeping families together and stably housed.
The devastation left in the wake of the hurricanes has still left many individuals and families unable to return home.
“Since the hurricanes made landfall last year, many evacuees have chosen to make Connecticut either their temporary or permanent home,” Commissioner Klein said. “We’re fortunate to have a Governor and so many other state leaders who have prioritized assistance for these individuals and families. Working with our colleagues across state government and in the nonprofit sector, we have developed a coordinated response that has helped more than 200 households find permanent housing or who have been diverted from homelessness. Disaster case managers continue to work with approximately 100 more households to address their immediate needs. While we are aware there are other individuals and families who are living with family or friends, the exact number is still unknown. They have yet to come forward for assistance, but when and if they do, the State of Connecticut is prepared to help them.”
DOH conducted an analysis of the open cases in the state and determined that the $600,000 appropriation can best be allocated through the following plan:
- $250,000 will be used to provide 100 households with first month’s rent/security deposit;
- $300,000 will be used to provide 300 to 600 households with general diversion assistance; and
- $50,000 will be used to provide six months’ worth of case management services.