In advance of Federal American Rescue Plan Act Spending Plan, Mayor, Council President, and Council Budget Chair propose additional community investments for remaining Federal CARES Act Funds
— On Tuesday Mayor Jenny Durkan, together with Council President M. Lorena González and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, announced a new $18 million COVID Relief package focusing on health, food and families following the recovery plan’s introduction in Tuesday’s Finance and Housing Committee. This COVID Relief package is an extension of the 2020 Coronavirus Relief Funds that were not expended in 2020, and is in advance of the estimated $119 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding the Council and Mayor will allocate in May.
This legislation would increase appropriations for existing COVID-related city services through the end of 2021, focusing on Health, Food and Families programming that are integral to Seattle’s COVID recovery. Allocations include but are not limited to:
- Vaccine outreach to hard to reach groups
- Food aid for families and children, including food bank support; meals for 12 shelter locations and 28 permanent supportive housing locations; income-qualified SPS families who receive school meal programs
- Grants to childcare providers who applied for financial support through the city’s existing Child Care Stabilization Fund to fund all the eligible applicants that previously applied
- Extend funding for the Clean City Initiative that was only funded through April 2021 in the adopted budget
- Term-limited budgeting and accounting staff to aid City in tracking and documenting federal funding activities, and reporting City expenditures for FEMA and other federal funds
- Additional positions in the Office of Emergency Management for better coordination of recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic
“Hope is on the horizon. We are vaccinating thousands of people each day, kids are returning to school, small businesses are reopening, and community events are resuming. With these critical resources, our City is providing food, vaccines, and childcare,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Our focus is building back our city better, which means that we must center our equitable response and recovery on Seattle’s businesses, families, and communities.”
“This $18 million package builds on the programs the Executive and the Council funded earlier in direct response to this pandemic. The economic impacts of this pandemic remain real for many people that continue to struggle. That is why this additional COVID Relief Package focuses on food access, childcare provider support, and vaccine outreach for hard to reach communities. These additional investments will help pave our path to a healthy recovery,” González said.
“This package realizes the values and vision the entire City Council and the Mayor put forward last year to support working families across Seattle. While this package focuses on continuing our COVID recovery efforts, we’ll next turn to long-range resiliency efforts through the American Rescue Plan Act funding. The $119 million resiliency plan, which we’ll begin discussing in May, will focus on economic recovery and reopening efforts, with significant investments toward homelessness and housing services, economic resilience, and programs, and investments in other trauma-informed recovery,” Mosqueda said.
Over the next six to eight weeks, the Council and the Mayor will continue discussions on how to allocate funding the City will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA), Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLRF), totaling about $239 million, with the first half ($119 million) received in 2021 and the second half coming in 2022, and other targeted aid that will flow through the City ($12.2 million from the ARPA HOME Investment Partnerships Program).