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Counties and the American Rescue Plan Act Recovery Fund: Housing & Homelessness

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    Counties and the American Rescue Plan Act Recovery Fund: Housing & Homelessness

    THE RECOVERY FUND AND HOUSING & HOMELESSNESSS:

    The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund), part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which NACo helped to develop and strongly advocated to pass, allocates $65.1 billion. These funds provide direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America. Counties are on the front lines in delivering this aid to residents and are a driving force connecting communities and strengthening the economy.

    As directed by the ARPA and the U.S. Department of Treasury, counties can invest Recovery Funds into a broad range of programs, services and projects under five categories to: support the public health response; address negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19; replace lost revenue; provide premium pay to essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

    Since the enactment of the ARPA, America’s counties have been working hard to develop Recovery Fund implementation plans that will help spur an equitable economic recovery across the nation. As sound financial stewards, counties are investing these critical Recovery Funds to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s residents and the economic vitality of our local communities. Many counties are in the preliminary stages of development and implementation of Recovery Fund Plans. This report highlights county investments such as homelessness support services, rental assistance and affordable housing.

    HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IS A RISING ISSUE ACROSS THE NATION

    Across the nation, housing affordability is a rising issue. In over 600 counties, at least 50 percent of residents who rent have spent more than half their household income on housing.

    Map: 2019, U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates

    COUNTIES PLAN TO INVEST RECOVERY FUNDS TO:

    COUNTIES ARE INVESTING IN COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

    How will counties invest the funds? NACo analysis of 200 county ARPA Recovery Fund plans reveals county-designed investments in the community across key areas of need. These local priorities are found within county plans at the rate displayed in the chart, e.g. forty-three percent of county plans include investments in housing and homelessness services. The darker bars are the investment categories adjacent to housing that support the continuation and expansion of services in counties. The examples in this report further illustrate the allocations to support housing on the local level.

     

    BOULDER COUNTY, COLO.

    Boulder County is investing $120,000 in Recovery Funds towards the county’s Emergency Choice Housing Vouchers to support households that experienced a negative economic impact because of the pandemic. The county will also support wraparound services for homeless individuals with a $21,600 investment, in addition to setting aside $750,000 to help fund Family Resource Centers which provide housing assistance to populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

    BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C.

    Buncombe County was able to establish a new and permanent supportive housing expansion program – the Homeward Bound Permanent Supportive Housing Program – with a $3 million investment made possible by the Recovery Fund. The program serves the community’s most vulnerable individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and provides supports including rental assistance and case management, both of which are encouraged by Treasury.

    CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA.

    Cherokee County is investing Recovery Funds in housing assistance programs after facing rising rates of homelessness due to the economic downturn from the pandemic and subsequent unemployment. In addition, the county is tailoring housing assistance for older adults through a $500,000 investment that will help officials respond to their unique needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA.

    Chesterfield County will utilize Recovery Funds to accelerate and incentivize affordable housing for low-income residents. The county is investing $4 million in an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that provides financial resources to increase the production of affordable housing units. The fund will also help create stable housing and improve both the short- and long-term health outcomes of low-income communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

    CLARK COUNTY, WASH.

    Clark County worked swiftly to invest $15.5 million in Recovery Funds to support the county’s Homeless Crisis Response System and combat the increased homelessness due to the pandemic. The funding will increase availability and coordination provided by homeless outreach teams, provide additional motel vouchers and increase indoor congregate and non-congregate shelter beds.

    DANE COUNTY, WIS.

    Dane County will continue to support a hotel sheltering initiative that has already housed nearly 300 individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the pandemic with the help of a $2.4 million allocation from the Recovery Fund. The county will also launch and maintain a rehousing initiative for those individuals to transition households into permanent housing through case management and support services.

    HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO

    Hamilton County has dedicated $20 million in Recovery Funds to construct new multi- and single-family affordable housing units. Additionally, the county invested another 10 million to update 60,000 affordable housing units and $5 million for housing protections to help prevent homelessness through wraparound services. This comprehensive affordable housing plan aims to address the increased financial instability of county residents during the pandemic.

    HONOLULU CITY & COUNTY, HAWAII

    Honolulu City & County’s Recovery Plan includes $900,000 for programs that assess properties for the acquisition, development and use of affordable housing or shelters. Additionally, $1.5 million is set aside for a new program that connects landlords with vacant units to households at risk of homelessness while the county works to respond to COVID-19’s impact in the community.

    MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZ.

    Maricopa County’s Recovery Plan includes $30 million for a new affordable housing development that will primarily serve populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Other investments include $7 million for emergency home repairs for individuals experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 and $5 million for a landlord engagement project that aims to expand affordable housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. The county has also allocated $5 million for homelessness services, $10 million for shelter beds, $4 million for rapid rehousing and $3 million for a flexible funding pool for homeless service providers.

    OLMSTED COUNTY, MINN.

    Olmsted County will create and preserve more than 1,100 affordable housing units by investing $16.1 million to address longstanding affordable housing needs exacerbated by the pandemic. Of those funds, $10 million is allocated to a five-year investment project that will create and preserve the affordable housing units, $5 million to create affordable homeownership opportunities, $1 million to purchase a building for transitional housing and $100,000 for repairs to the county’s warming center which will help those in need stay out of the cold.

    SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CALIF.

    San Joaquin County has invested $222,500 to expand the county’s Landlord Incentive Program which supports homeless veterans. The program will assist a minimum of 30 households and provide support for veterans who were hit harder by the pandemic. Funds will also be used for security deposits, unit repairs, utility assistance, vacancy loss coverage and dedicated liaisons.

    WASHOE COUNTY, NEV.

    Washoe County is using Recovery Funds to invest in a new low-barrier emergency homeless shelter which will support 600 at-risk individuals. Additionally, $4.5 million is set aside for improvements to the Washoe County Safe Camp which provides trauma-informed care, and $612,000 is allocated for a Women’s Pilot Project which will provide supportive housing to women with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These allocations support the ARPA’s intent of addressing increased homelessness as a result the pandemic as well as supporting mental health services.

     

    This report highlights county investments such as homelessness support services, rental assistance and affordable housing.
    2021-12-01
    Reports & Toolkits
    2021-12-03

THE RECOVERY FUND AND HOUSING & HOMELESSNESSS:

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund), part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which NACo helped to develop and strongly advocated to pass, allocates $65.1 billion. These funds provide direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America. Counties are on the front lines in delivering this aid to residents and are a driving force connecting communities and strengthening the economy.

As directed by the ARPA and the U.S. Department of Treasury, counties can invest Recovery Funds into a broad range of programs, services and projects under five categories to: support the public health response; address negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19; replace lost revenue; provide premium pay to essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Since the enactment of the ARPA, America’s counties have been working hard to develop Recovery Fund implementation plans that will help spur an equitable economic recovery across the nation. As sound financial stewards, counties are investing these critical Recovery Funds to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s residents and the economic vitality of our local communities. Many counties are in the preliminary stages of development and implementation of Recovery Fund Plans. This report highlights county investments such as homelessness support services, rental assistance and affordable housing.

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IS A RISING ISSUE ACROSS THE NATION

Across the nation, housing affordability is a rising issue. In over 600 counties, at least 50 percent of residents who rent have spent more than half their household income on housing.

Map: 2019, U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates

COUNTIES PLAN TO INVEST RECOVERY FUNDS TO:

COUNTIES ARE INVESTING IN COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

How will counties invest the funds? NACo analysis of 200 county ARPA Recovery Fund plans reveals county-designed investments in the community across key areas of need. These local priorities are found within county plans at the rate displayed in the chart, e.g. forty-three percent of county plans include investments in housing and homelessness services. The darker bars are the investment categories adjacent to housing that support the continuation and expansion of services in counties. The examples in this report further illustrate the allocations to support housing on the local level.

 

BOULDER COUNTY, COLO.

Boulder County is investing $120,000 in Recovery Funds towards the county’s Emergency Choice Housing Vouchers to support households that experienced a negative economic impact because of the pandemic. The county will also support wraparound services for homeless individuals with a $21,600 investment, in addition to setting aside $750,000 to help fund Family Resource Centers which provide housing assistance to populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C.

Buncombe County was able to establish a new and permanent supportive housing expansion program – the Homeward Bound Permanent Supportive Housing Program – with a $3 million investment made possible by the Recovery Fund. The program serves the community’s most vulnerable individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and provides supports including rental assistance and case management, both of which are encouraged by Treasury.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA.

Cherokee County is investing Recovery Funds in housing assistance programs after facing rising rates of homelessness due to the economic downturn from the pandemic and subsequent unemployment. In addition, the county is tailoring housing assistance for older adults through a $500,000 investment that will help officials respond to their unique needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA.

Chesterfield County will utilize Recovery Funds to accelerate and incentivize affordable housing for low-income residents. The county is investing $4 million in an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that provides financial resources to increase the production of affordable housing units. The fund will also help create stable housing and improve both the short- and long-term health outcomes of low-income communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

CLARK COUNTY, WASH.

Clark County worked swiftly to invest $15.5 million in Recovery Funds to support the county’s Homeless Crisis Response System and combat the increased homelessness due to the pandemic. The funding will increase availability and coordination provided by homeless outreach teams, provide additional motel vouchers and increase indoor congregate and non-congregate shelter beds.

DANE COUNTY, WIS.

Dane County will continue to support a hotel sheltering initiative that has already housed nearly 300 individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the pandemic with the help of a $2.4 million allocation from the Recovery Fund. The county will also launch and maintain a rehousing initiative for those individuals to transition households into permanent housing through case management and support services.

HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO

Hamilton County has dedicated $20 million in Recovery Funds to construct new multi- and single-family affordable housing units. Additionally, the county invested another 10 million to update 60,000 affordable housing units and $5 million for housing protections to help prevent homelessness through wraparound services. This comprehensive affordable housing plan aims to address the increased financial instability of county residents during the pandemic.

HONOLULU CITY & COUNTY, HAWAII

Honolulu City & County’s Recovery Plan includes $900,000 for programs that assess properties for the acquisition, development and use of affordable housing or shelters. Additionally, $1.5 million is set aside for a new program that connects landlords with vacant units to households at risk of homelessness while the county works to respond to COVID-19’s impact in the community.

MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZ.

Maricopa County’s Recovery Plan includes $30 million for a new affordable housing development that will primarily serve populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Other investments include $7 million for emergency home repairs for individuals experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 and $5 million for a landlord engagement project that aims to expand affordable housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. The county has also allocated $5 million for homelessness services, $10 million for shelter beds, $4 million for rapid rehousing and $3 million for a flexible funding pool for homeless service providers.

OLMSTED COUNTY, MINN.

Olmsted County will create and preserve more than 1,100 affordable housing units by investing $16.1 million to address longstanding affordable housing needs exacerbated by the pandemic. Of those funds, $10 million is allocated to a five-year investment project that will create and preserve the affordable housing units, $5 million to create affordable homeownership opportunities, $1 million to purchase a building for transitional housing and $100,000 for repairs to the county’s warming center which will help those in need stay out of the cold.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CALIF.

San Joaquin County has invested $222,500 to expand the county’s Landlord Incentive Program which supports homeless veterans. The program will assist a minimum of 30 households and provide support for veterans who were hit harder by the pandemic. Funds will also be used for security deposits, unit repairs, utility assistance, vacancy loss coverage and dedicated liaisons.

WASHOE COUNTY, NEV.

Washoe County is using Recovery Funds to invest in a new low-barrier emergency homeless shelter which will support 600 at-risk individuals. Additionally, $4.5 million is set aside for improvements to the Washoe County Safe Camp which provides trauma-informed care, and $612,000 is allocated for a Women’s Pilot Project which will provide supportive housing to women with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These allocations support the ARPA’s intent of addressing increased homelessness as a result the pandemic as well as supporting mental health services.

 

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