ARP: New Castle County DE, Invests ARPA Funds into Community Priorities

Delaware: New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer has finalized a plan to invest $54 million from the American Rescue Plan’s state and local recovery funds in affordable housing, stormwater management, cellular broadband, and other community priorities. Meyer will use $2.5 million of the federal funding for his Building Better Communities Initiative, which identifies and implements strategies to increase community engagement and reduce violence in underserved neighborhoods throughout the county. “This is a historic opportunity to reimagine the communities in which we live, an unprecedented opportunity to address problems that arose in recent months and divisions that have festered for decades,” said Meyer about the ARP funding appropriation.

ARP: Atlanta GA, Community-based Housing Incentives for Public Safety Officials

Atlanta Councilmember Amir Farokhi’s resolution to provide housing subsidies for public safety personnel received unanimous approval from the city council. As rents continue to rise in Atlanta, Farokhi hopes that by helping to cover housing costs, public safety officers can afford to live where they work, help recruit and retain new officers, and also build trust between the community and those charged with protecting it. The resolutions will provide $500,000 from federal American Rescue Plan funds to help firefighters, corrections offices, and police officers live in the areas near their stations and the neighborhoods in which they work.


Equity Initiative: Representative Nima Kulkarni Introduces New Legislation to Advance Tenant Protections

Kentucky Representative Nima Kulkarni introduced three bills to enhance tenant protections. Responding to housing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kulkarni introduced bills HB 159 that would expunge any history of eviction from a tenants’ record after one year, HB 160 that would require landlords to keep tenants’ possessions 21 days after an eviction, and HB 152 that would revise a 1970 law known as the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTRA) and would establish consistent rules throughout the state for tenants and landlords. Kulkarni believes that the current version of URLTRA focuses on protecting landlords over tenants, an issue that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We saw this narrative kind of brought up during the pandemic of you know, landlords versus tenants. And that’s not really how this works,” said Kulkarni. “Landlords need tenants, tenants need landlords, everybody has a duty of care to each other.”

ARP: Richmond VA, Investing in Equity Agenda to help Children and Families Thrive

With an eye toward a more inclusive future, Richmond, Virginia is centering an infusion of federal funds on advancing its equity agenda. In this agenda, which the City Council passed unanimously in May 2021, equity is defined as, “empower[ing] people and communities that have experienced past injustices by removing barriers to access and opportunity.” 

Led by Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond is leveraging $155 million from the American Rescue Plan to embrace and advance the city’s commitment to equity. 

Children and Families

The city’s largest investment – $78 million – is focused on children and families. More specifically, much of the funding will go towards community centers, walking trails, and access to green spaces. In fact, the new and refurbished community centers will be within a ten minute walk of 100,000 residents who previously lacked access to such spaces so close to their homes. 

During outreach conversations, community centers were a major desire of Richmond residents. And not just buildings, but spaces that incorporate multi-generational opportunities for all residents. Places where children could play sports during the day, families could receive assistance applying for benefits, and senior citizens could learn computer skills or play Bingo in the evening. 

While looking to the future, Stoney and his team are not neglecting the difficulties some residents continue to face in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help families with needs such as child care, food, housing costs, or transportation, the city is providing Visa gift cards to families experiencing hardships through a second iteration of the Family Crisis Fund. The direct cash infusion allows families to use the funds on what they need most. 

In order to lift up the struggling child care sector, Richmond once again turned to its equity agenda for guidance. The city will invest $1 million in the stabilization and expansion of high-quality child care programs and preschools. Of this, $500,000 will be made available to eligible nonprofit and charitable organizations through direct grants from the Office of Children and Families; an additional $500,000 will be disbursed by Smart Beginnings of Greater Richmond in order to support private businesses like family day homes that offer these services but are ineligible for grants from the city.


Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney celebrated the opening of a new child care facility, made possible by $300,000 in American Rescue Plan funds. The new center will serve children between the ages of two months and five years, giving Richmond families another option for high-quality care. Overall, Stoney has invested more than $600,000 in federal funding for new child care facilities, allowing more than 200 Richmond families to have access to affordable childcare. Mayor Stoney added, “Every Richmond family with children under 5 deserves to have access to preschool programs that meet their unique needs, including full-day, full-year programs like Sprout School.”



Stoney is also using ARP funds to renovate and improve two of the city’s public housing complexes. The city will spend $6.8 million to redevelop the 68-year-old Creighton Court public housing community, replacing 504 existing units with up to 700 new apartments and homes. This investment will greatly benefit the East End community, and continue the new construction of quality, affordable housing for over 500 families

Another $5.5 million will go towards redeveloping the Highland Grove Redevelopment Project in North Richmond. These dollars will allow for the first phase of this redevelopment – which will ultimately results in 122 new for-sale homes.

ARP: St. Louis MO, Determined to Keep Residents In Their Homes

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones has identified three key issues around housing: homelessness, affordability, and homeownership. She’s using American Rescue Plan funds to address each issue. In addition to spending $10 million to directly assist the homeless population, Jones is using federal money to keep families in their homes. St. Louis is using $15 million from ARP on a Healthy Home Repairs program that will help up to 750 families make necessary repairs to stay in their own homes. The city is also investing $23 million in rental assistance programs.

Innovation is a key way the city will keep families housed. Partnering with a nonprofit, the city is using $125,000 of ARP funds for a Property Tax Relief program that pays off backlogged taxes that would normally result in foreclosure. This relatively modest investment will help 50 families stay in their homes, and the city will use an additional $375,000 of ARP funds in coming years for additional property tax relief.

In addition to $20 million for a housing development fund to build more affordable units, the city is spending $2 million to help build a tiny home community, in partnership with a veterans organization. The community will have 50 homes as well as a community center.

ARP: Burlington VT, Double Housing Production, End Homelessness, and Support Renters

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger will use $5 million in ARP funds, along with additional state and local funds, to spearhead an ambitious goal of doubling housing production and ending chronic homelessness in Vermont’s most populous city.

The initiative, announced in December 2021, aims to build 1,250 new homes over the next five years and end homelessness in the city in just three years. Weinberger stated that more than 300 of the new homes will be permanently affordable, and 78 of those will be dedicated to housing the formerly homeless. In order to accomplish the goal, Weinberger and other elected officials will change zoning regulations to build homes in enterprise districts and on underutilized properties.

Weinberger also expanded the city’s Property Tax Relief program, which provides financial relief to homeowners experiencing hardship during the pandemic. The program received $1 million of ARP funds and, so far, has distributed $470,000 in aid to about 330 households. The expanded eligibility criteria will help reach more families and ensure that the program is maximizing its impact in the community.

ARP: Denver CO, Invests in Homelessness Navigation

Senator Chris Hansen was a prime sponsor on a bill, signed into law, that is investing nearly $50 million to develop and operate a navigation campus to assist residents experiencing homelessness in the Denver-metropolitan region. Funding is being directed from Colorado’s economic recovery and relief cash fund, which was seeded by ARP dollars.

ARP: Albuquerque NM, Tackles Youth Homelessness

Mayor Tim Keller announced the initial allocation of $7 million in ARP funds for a first-in-the-nation youth center serving young adults ages 18 to 25 who are experiencing homelessness. Young people have limited resources and are particularly vulnerable to housing insecurity. The center will provide a safe residential facility for youth with age appropriate support services to help residents get on their feet.

ARP: Birmingham AL, Develops New Affordable Homes

Mayor Randall Woodfin used ARP funds to spur the development of 27 new affordable homes. The City of Birmingham entered into a partnership with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to revitalize neighborhoods and address the impacts of redlining, particularly in communities of color. This allocation will provide assistance to low-and-moderate income communities, with a focus on communities of color.

ARP: Salem, MA Tackles Housing Insecurity

Mayor Kim Driscoll announced in July a comprehensive effort to address housing insecurity in her community. Driscoll invested over $9 million of ARP funds toward affordable housing construction, grants to build accessory dwelling units, energy efficiency improvement projects at affordable housing complexes, and additional investments in the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, including helping the trust purchase and preserve existing affordable units.