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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

April 8th, 2022

Welcome to the Friday Update from the Federal Funding Hub!

This message shares news and resources so that our region can make the most of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other federal funding.

News from MSP Cities

  • Burnsville: The city council met to discuss all ARPA funds and assign the unallocated $2 million to support government services. Here are the PowerPoint slides from the meeting.

  • Edina: The City of Edina is holding community meetings and collecting ideas online during the month of April 2022 for how to utilize the Round 2 ARPA funding.

  • Maple Grove: Officials announced that they planned to spend some of their ARPA funding to help businesses and nonprofits, including the Maple Grove Hospital and CROSS Services, with grant recovery programs. The funding will also help the city replace some of the revenues it has lost over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the report states.

  • Minneapolis: Mayor Jacob Frey has joined House America on behalf of the City of Minneapolis. House America, a national partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), focuses on a housing-first approach of prioritizing immediate re-housing efforts and building additional housing for people experiencing homelessness. HUD and USICH have invited mayors, county leaders, Tribal nation leaders, and governors to use ARPA investments as part of a unified effort to address the nation’s homelessness crisis.

  • St. Paul:

    • The City created the 30% AMI Deeply Affordable Housing Fund with its ARPA allocation to expand housing supply for extremely low-income residents. The City is soliciting applications to fund eligible developments located within the boundaries of Saint Paul. Applications due April 21.

    • Mayor Melvin Carter announced this week an influx of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan will make it possible for the St. Paul Regional Water Service to replace lead service lines faster than originally anticipated.

News from MSP Counties

  • Hennepin County: During the pandemic, the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have worked together to provide funding to allow shelters to remain open 24 hours per day, seven days per work, and to make updates to improve the health and safety of the emergency shelter system. Additional capital improvements are needed in emergency shelters to mitigate COVID-19 effects and to maintain the health and safety of the emergency shelter system.

  • Carver County: The City of Chaska will allocate ARPA funds toward the Highway 41/County Road 61 project and the 2022 street reconstruction project.

  • Scott County: Four park related projects are being considered for inclusion in the ARPA program. Three projects are related to park development and infrastructure, and one project is a market study. The projects are eligible for ARPA funding under the revenue recapture category. Read an overview of the projects on pg. 2

  • Washington County: The Board of Commissioners has allocated $2 million for investments in broadband within Washington County. The Broadband Grant Program will provide 1:1 matching grant funding to cities, townships, and broadband providers for the expansion of high-speed broadband.

  • Ramsey County

    • Brookings wrote about how St. Paul and Ramsey County exemplify a cross-jurisdictional approach, already partnering on workforce training needs through the combined Workforce Innovation Board.

    • Three development projects in Maplewood were submitted to Ramsey County's Inclusive Housing Development Solicitation process for housing development projects that build or preserve inclusive affordable housing. The funding awarded by Ramsey County for the projects will come from a variety of federal and local sources – with a majority available through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Ramsey County’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority levy.

Minnesota News

  • Governor's Council on Economic Expansion: The Council met March 28th to understand strategies around holistic investments in current and future workers, including BIPOC entrepreneurs and micro-businesses, and how to remove systemic barriers to create a just and fair society that supports all to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Watch a recording of the meeting here. The next meeting will be Monday, April 11th at 2:45 pm you can watch it here.

National News

  • Treasury releases guidance on the reallocation of ERA 2 funds: On March 30, the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) released guidance on how it will reallocate unused funds from the second tranche of funding of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, or ERA2, that was authorized by ARPA.

  • Infrastructure Money: With $1.2 trillion in infrastructure money flowing from Washington, D.C., state and local governments should evaluate their processes for selecting and approving new projects.

  • EDA and Racial Equity: When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, it provided EDA with $3 billion to invest in communities. As we design new grant programs, we are constantly talking to a variety of communities to hear about the unique challenges they are facing and how we can design programs to better support underserved populations.

  • Federal Funds in New York: \Mayor Ben Walsh is tapping ARPA federal funds to foster and promote better data practices throughout the city.

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD announced on Tuesday that it is making an additional $3,285,353 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding available to help HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies combat housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The White House: Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure to upgrade public schools with modern, clean, energy-efficient facilities and transportation—delivering health and learning benefits to children and school communities, saving school districts money, and creating good union jobs. The action plan activates the entire federal government in leveraging investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan to advance solutions including energy efficiency retrofits, electric school buses, and resilient design.

  • Negotiations on COVID-19 supplemental legislation stalled in Senate: A group of senators unveiled a bipartisan, $10 billion COVID-19 supplemental appropriations bill to support the ongoing domestic response to the public health emergency. The final agreement includes bipartisan legislation that would provide additional flexibility for counties to invest American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Upcoming Webinars

  • Rent Regulation: Urban Land Institute Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis are partnering with experts from across the housing sector to present a four-part, virtual event series featuring research-based, evidence-driven conversation on rent regulation. The first part starts on April 11th from 3:30-4:30pm. Register here.

  • Follow the Money: Join Commissioner Marion Greene from Hennepin County at a Route Fifty webinar on April 12th at 12-1 pm CT. Register here.

  • Reentry and Housing: This webinar on April 20, 2022, 11:00 pm – 12:15 p.m. CT will focus on Secretary Fudge’s guidance encouraging communities to prioritize people in reentry for the 70,000 ARP Emergency Housing Vouchers available nationwide.

  • Leveraging ARPA Funds to Prevent Violent Crime: Counties are using resources from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to fund violence prevention and crime reduction programs in their communities. Counties have been using this funding to support community-based organizations, violence interrupters, youth-centered wellness groups, and hospital-linked intervention programs. Join s. Join NACo for a webinar on April 27 at 1:00 pm that will feature a discussion with county leaders on how they have been using ARPA funds to reduce violence and strengthen communities.

Resources

  • U.S. Department of Treasury: On April 1, 2022, Treasury released the Project and Expenditure Report templates for the SLFRF program. The Project and Expenditure Report are due from all SLFRF recipients by April 30, 2022. A program User Guide was also released to assist in the submission of information. Read on pg. 107 for on how the Treasury will track ARPA funds for the provision of government services.

  • Federal Recovery Funds and State and Local Funds: During the past two years, the federal government has funneled an unprecedented amount of aid dollars to state and local governments. In this special report, Route Fifty provides an update on how states and localities are putting the money to use and on some of the challenges that they are encountering along the way.

  • Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER): The federal government has passed three major relief packages in response to COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) included funding for K-12 education. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is administering multiple grant opportunities from these three relief packages, including three rounds of formula-based Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding that districts eligible for Title I, Part A funds received. Review the ESSER III Spending Plans for school districts

  • Racial Equity and ARPA: This past week, veteran and aspiring advocates from UnidosUS’s community-based affiliates across the country gathered in Washington, DC, for a two-day advocacy summit, ending with visits with their representatives. As part of the summit, attendees heard from Janis Bowdler, the first-ever counselor for racial equity at the U.S. Treasury Department and UnidosUS alum, who gave her perspective on what ARPA has done to improve the well-being of the Latino community and what still needs to be done.

  • Public Health Infrastructure: Counties are investing critical American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Funds in county health departments capabilities and bolstering the public health workforce. Learn more below and explore NACo's full issue brief on county investments of Recovery Funds to support public health infrastructure.

Please reach out with questions and ideas regarding federal funding in our region. Also let me know if you have any news or resources you’d like us to share.

Allison

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