City Details American Rescue Plan Act 2021 Investments

City Details American Rescue Plan Act 2021 Investments

The City of Alameda gave an update on how they are allocating their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 2021 funds.

The American Rescue Plan Act was enacted into law on March 11, 2021. The legislation allowed the city to invest $28.6 million into local entities that were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.

“The ARPA relief money that the City of Alameda received was a lifeline during the pandemic and continues to provide resources to address the immediate needs of our residents, businesses, and nonprofits, as well as long-standing social and economic inequities,” said Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

Alameda officials consulted with community leaders to decide how and where the funds would be allocated. Some projects are ongoing, and some projects took place during the early portion of the pandemic.

The city will use APRA funds to replace three portable units that house the kitchen/community room, staff/children’s room, and a 25-bed dormitory at the Midway Shelter of Alameda. The city will use APRA funds to repair the Alameda Food Bank’s disbursement facility. The city also wants to use the money to start a Wireless Hotspot Lending Program that will providing wireless hotspots lent out at the Alameda Free Library at no cost. The goal of this plan is to bridge the digital divide for low and middle-income families.

The city approved allocating some of the money for supportive housing for unsheltered residents. ARPA funds, along with other grant funding, will be used to build and operate Dignity Village, a 46-unit modular housing project for formerly unsheltered individuals. Also, ARPA funds will be used to operate an emergency homeless housing program that will provide emergency supportive housing for up to six months with wrap-around services to unsheltered Alamedans and assist them in locating permanent housing (“Listening Session for Emergency Supportive Housing Plan,” March 10).

Other programs received ARPA funds during the height of the pandemic. Through Feed America, the city allocated ARPA funds to local restaurants that were hit the hardest during the pandemic. They in turn provided hot meals to unhoused individuals and others who are food insecure. Also, the city used ARPA money for its Commercial Streets program, which created an on-street parklet program and reconfigured many downtown streets to allow outdoor dining.

The city’s ARPA spending plan is focused on addressing housing, homelessness, and behavioral/mental health; investing in and building broadband infrastructure; providing household and local small business assistance; and supplementing revenue loss — all with an emphasis on those in the community who were and continue to be disproportionality impacted by the pandemic.

ARPA was a direct response to the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also called the COVID-19 stimulus package. Alameda County received $324 million.

To learn more on the city’s ARPA investments, visit www.alamedaca.gov/Shortcut-Content/News-Media.