FEMA: Hotel deadline extended again for Harvey victims

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Some Texans still in hotels after Hurricane Harvey will receive financial assistance to stay through July 1, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency news release.

The extension, which allows an extra month in temporary housing from the previous deadline, is the seventh and final time that the cutoff will be pushed back, according to the release.

Help through the so-called Transitional Shelter Assistance program went to more than 55,560 Texans after Harvey, including 23,368 in the Houston area, FEMA reported. It contributed to a boon in hotel stays that lasted months beyond late August 2017, when the storm hit.

Three months after Harvey, more than 47,000 flood victims were still living in hotels and motels.

Transitional Shelter Assistance, a joint federal and state program, pays for families to stay in approved establishments while they look for a more permanent place to live. Those helped represent just a fraction of those displaced: overall, local officials estimated more than 311,000 housing units had been damaged by the hurricane.

People allowed to stay one month under the program more were expected to receive a phone message advising them of the update. Those who were not sure of their status were encouraged to contact the FEMA helpline: 800-621-3362.