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Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan Jointly Applaud Successful Passage of ‘Seattle Rescue Plan’

Plan invests $128.4 million of federal dollars into direct aid through housing, childcare, cash assistance, small business grants, and investments in an equitable economic recovery

Budget Chair Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Council President M. Lorena González, and Mayor Jenny Durkan celebrated the successful passage of the Seattle Rescue Plan, which was drafted collaboratively over the past several months to incorporate community feedback and Councilmember priorities. The $128.4 million package of federal recovery funds will be used for direct aid to communities hardest hit by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic; homelessness and housing; an equitable recovery focusing on small businesses, the arts/creative economy, and neighborhood districts; youth opportunities and childcare; and reopening essential city services. 

Chair Mosqueda, Council President González and Mayor Durkan worked collaboratively on the two pieces of legislation, Council Bills 120093 and 120094, to respond to the most pressing needs facing Seattle. The investments were informed by stakeholders, public input, and are a reflection of shared priorities of the Mayor and the Council, as represented in Council Resolution 31999, which was adopted in March of this year to guide the City’s investment of ARPA funds. The Seattle Rescue Plan was introduced after a dedicated public hearing and hours of public testimony, and dozens of stakeholder roundtable discussions. 

“The Seattle Rescue Plan centers policy over politics, community over conflicts, and reflects the diversity of our city’s needs. This package directs dollars to communities who were most harmed by COVID, both in health impacts and lost livelihoods,” said Councilmember Mosqueda. “This one time funding serves as the building blocks of creating an equitable economy, but we know it’s not enough. We know there is much work to do, through future ARPA and federal funds, JumpStart Seattle allocations and our budget cycles, to truly build a city that works for every Seattle family. I want to thank my Council colleagues and the Mayor for their collaborative approach, intentional listening, and for sharing the vision of a Seattle recovery that centers those most harmed and puts us on a path of economic resiliency.”

“Just as Seattle has led the nation in testing and vaccinations, I believe Seattle can lead the nation in building back a strong, more just and equitable city,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “The Seattle Rescue Plan outlines our values in recovery, and is built from the needs and disparities voiced by community and civic leaders. The impacts of this pandemic have not been felt equally, and our recovery efforts seek to address those inequities through significant investments in expanding shelter and affordable housing, and through funds that will support the economic recovery of our businesses, and through grants that let communities lead in rebuilding and revitalizing their neighborhoods. Working in step with Council to develop this bill has enabled us to more quickly create plans to get hands of families, communities, and businesses quickly, and I am grateful to Council President Gonzalez, Councilmember Mosqueda, and the full Seattle City Council for their advocacy and leadership in setting Seattle on a path to recovery.”

“Although $128 million is insufficient to meet the various, critical needs facing our city’s residents, we have a unique opportunity with this funding to make a difference in the lives of countless Seattleites and set our city on a path towards a more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 public health and economic crises. Passage of the Seattle Rescue Plan is an important step towards a city that continues to care for one another and will invest in a Seattle that is a vibrant, inclusive place we can all be proud to call home,” said Council President González.

The Seattle Rescue Plan supports investments in five distinct categories. Here is a high level overview: 

  • Housing and Homelessness – $49.2 million
    •  Investments in permanent affordable housing, diversion, and rapid housing, and resources for emergency housing, shelter and services.
  • Community Well-being – $41 million 
    • Direct cash assistance towards communities most impacted by the financial and health impacts of COVID-19, digital equity, restoring City services such as libraries, youth equity and economic opportunities
  • Community Recovery – $23.5 million 
    • Aid for small businesses, neighborhood and Downtown recovery, job training, and support for the creative arts sector, including grants to organizations and direct assistance to individual artists
  • Community Assistance & Programming – $7 million 
    • Funding for needs ranging from Healthy Streets/Safe Starts permits and programming, child care services, enhanced services at parks and facilities
  • Supporting City Services and Workers – $7.6 million 
    • Essential city services, upgrading technology, support for returning workers 

The entire $128.4 million Seattle Rescue Package is made up of $116 million in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery funds in direct aid provided from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as well as $12.2 million of HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds.

The City expects to receive more targeted funding from the American Rescue Plan Act this summer, as well as an additional $116 million in flexible funds in May 2022. 

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) in 2022 and other targeted aid that will come to the City. Additional budget legislation will be considered later this summer to accept and authorize spending $7.4 million of targeted ARPA funds to support seniors and $28.7 million of targeted aid for rental assistance programs. 

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