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Rep. Engel, Councilman King Urge FEMA to Expedite Funding for U.S. Virgin Islands

Rep. Engel, Councilman King Urge FEMA to Expedite Funding for U.S. Virgin Islands

Bronx, NY—Congressman Eliot Engel and New York City Council Member Andy King penned a joint letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William B. Long urging him to expedite the release of funding for the U.S. Virgin Islands to allow for repairs to more than 10,000 homes following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“We represent many individuals in New York who are originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands and who have strong personal ties to the islands,” Engel and King wrote. “On behalf of our constituents, we urge you to ensure that the U.S. Virgin Islands receives the funding it needs so that housing repairs can be made as soon as possible.”

Full text of the letter can be found below:

 

June 8, 2018

 

The Honorable William B. Long

Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

500 C Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20024

 

Dear Administrator Long:

                We write to urge you to expedite the release of funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands to allow it to pay for the repair of some 10,000 damaged homes on the islands. While we understand that FEMA typically asks state and territorial governments to pay the upfront costs for these repairs before reimbursing them, the U.S. Virgin Islands simply does not have this funding currently available. With hurricane season upon us once again, it is imperative that Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands have access to safe and secure housing immediately.

                As you know, the U.S. Virgin Islands was hit extremely hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last fall. According to the Washington Post, “The storms damaged or destroyed about 18,500 homes and businesses on the three major islands – St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John – including multiple high-rise apartment building.”

                We represent many individuals in New York who are originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands and who have strong personal ties to the islands. On behalf of our constituents, we urge you to ensure that the U.S. Virgin Islands receives the funding it needs so that housing repairs can be made as soon as possible. We must stay focused on smart reconstruction that can survive the next big storm. That is why we urge FEMA to release funds for the U.S. Virgin Islands immediately.

                Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.