Mayor Rhodes-Conway announced her plan to direct nearly $23 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to programs in the community ranging from economic development and youth employment to housing, homelessness, and other community services. ARPA funds to local governments are intended to help them and their communities recover from the financial, public health, and other community hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID pandemic disrupted everything, and put strain on people and businesses throughout the city in countless ways, and this federal support allows the City to alleviate some of that strain and help Madisonians recover from the pandemic,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “With this funding, we can help secure a variety of types of shelter and housing for those who need it, help residents meet their basic needs, bring summer jobs back for our youth, and help businesses and business districts recover.”

The Mayor proposes to direct $22.8 million of this funding to the following uses over 2 years:

  • Violence Prevention & Youth Engagement - $2,585,000. Funding supports youth employment and programming, violence prevention initiatives outlined in the Violence Prevention Roadmap, and evaluation of the CARES alternative crisis response team.
  • Homelessness Support - $8,650,000. Funding supports a variety of strategies to support persons experiencing homelessness in Madison such a permanent men’s shelter and additional tiny houses, including an Occupy Madison Solar Project that will reduce housing costs.
  • Affordable Housing -- $6,650,000. Funding helps expand low-cost housing choices, including for youth aging out of the foster care system who need support to succeed at work and school. It also supports a tenant damage fund that can hasten getting rental units back in service, more money to help Madison residents purchase a home, make needed home repairs or energy-saving retrofits, and it commits funds to help facilitate the use of available rental assistance dollars.
  • Emerging Needs -- $1,000,000. Funding efforts to help members of our community, including undocumented residents and seniors, gain access to services and resources that meet their basic need.
  • Economic Development -- $3,915,000. Funding increases grants to small businesses, supports neighborhood business districts, brings art to vacant storefronts downtown, and aids the Public Market Foundation while their site is used as temporary shelter.

ARPA funding to the City totals $47.2 million, and will be distributed to the City in two equal payments in the spring of 2021 and the spring of 2022. In the first payment of $23.6 million, the City will allocate $16.7 million to community investments, and the remaining $6.9 million to help address deficits in the city budget due to pandemic-related revenue losses. City revenues were below pre-pandemic levels by over $44 million in 2020 and are expected to remain below those levels for the next few years as the economy recovers.

More detail about the Mayor’s proposal can be found here and will be presented to the City’s Finance Committee at 4:30 pm on Monday, June 21.

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