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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

June 3rd, 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.

How strong are your data muscles? Read below about how cities are using ARPA to build them.

Upcoming Deadlines


News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Hennepin County: Hennepin County will spend more than $27 million to create and preserve 1,900 affordable housing units, the county's largest-ever funding initiative for housing. Federal pandemic recovery aid is paying for the projects.

  • Ramsey County: Ramsey County, in partnership with Think Small, launches a new Early Childhood Academy, which will provide incentives and support services to attract and retain childcare programs. This three-year, $750,000 initiative is a part of the Ramsey County Investment and Support Efforts program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.


Minnesota News

  • Broadband: The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will award $95 million in broadband grants across the state. Funding for a single project is capped at $5 million.

  • Homelessness: The federal government, via three rounds of economic aid — including the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)— sent billions of dollars to state and local governments for emergency housing aid. Now, with rental assistance and eviction moratorium ending, advocates fear a rise in homelessness.

  • Childcare: Indigenous Visioning, a Native-led organization based out of White Earth that aims to build stronger tribal communities, is a recipient of a state grant to support community childcare providers. Funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.

  • Minnesota IIJA Funds: (From Opinion Exchange) Minnesota is slated to receive up to $7.4 billion in IIJA funding, but only if we come up with required state matches. There is also $200 billion in infrastructure grants that Minnesota could compete for if we have matching dollars.

  • Governor's Council on Economic Expansion: The Council met on Monday, May 23rd. Watch the recording of the meeting here. The next meeting will be on June 6th from 2 pm to 4 pm. Watch here,


National News

  • Housing: As part of his equity agenda, President Biden wants to give the nation’s 100 most underserved areas nearly $2 million apiece in extra Community Development Block Grants funding, which can be used for purposes ranging from increasing affordable housing to renovating local parks.

  • New NSF Program: The NSF announced that it would be providing select U.S. regions with up to $160 million over 10 years to strengthen their local innovation scenes, with a focus on regions that have not fully participated in the tech boom of the last few decades. The NSF Regional Innovation Engines program, the new initiative represents an especially serious effort to deploy place-based problem-solving against a major national challenge—in this case, lagging tech-oriented economic development and inclusive talent development in scores of locations that have been underserved for years.

  • Effective Broadband: The funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act —including a commitment to give each state at least $100 million in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program dollars—is one of the largest investments in connecting people since the creation of the Interstate Highway System in 1956.

  • Tribal Infrastructure and IIJA: As the Biden administration continues to distribute more of the funds from the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, one focus is the law's record funding for tribal infrastructure, including roads and bridges, drinking water, wastewater treatment and broadband.

  • No thanks: From small towns to big cities, every government across the U.S. was offered a slice of $350 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds to help shore up their finances, cover pandemic-related costs and invest in community projects. Officials in 1,468 local governments effectively said "no," turning away a potential total of $73 million, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled from every state.

  • ARPA Audit: The Office of Management and Budget recently published guidance on how auditors should conduct Single Audits for ARPA Recovery Fund investments and the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program. Federal law requires counties that invested $750,000 or more in federal funds within its fiscal year to have an auditor conduct Single Audits of these expenditures.

  • Data muscles: Read how different cities across the country are hiring performance and data analysts, social scientists, and civic designers. The added capacity will enable the cities to get the most out of the dozens of new pandemic recovery programs the city is launching with its share of ARPA funds—delivering better results for residents and keeping city leaders accountable for the outcomes.

  • Rhode Island: Governor Dan McKee, joined by members of Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, today announced a strategic initiative with the Partnership for Rhode Island called CompeteRI. CompeteRI will help Rhode Island state agencies, municipalities, and nonprofits more effectively compete for federal funding made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


Upcoming Webinars and Events

  • Addressing the Nation’s Behavioral Health Crisis with Recovery Funds: On June 8th at 2-3 p.m. learn how Ulster County, N.Y., Placer County, Calif. and Clackamas County, Ore. are leveraging ARPA dollars to expand the availability and scope of behavioral health services, invest in local crisis centers and construct rehabilitation centers to strengthen community resources. Register here.

  • Rent Stabilization: The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on June 8th at 11 am completes its four-part series on Local Approaches to Advance Tenant Stability to focus on local approaches that have similar goals to rent stabilization policies. Register here.

  • Ready to Rebuild: Advancing Infrastructure Jobs in Federally Funded Transportation Projects: On June 9th at 2:00 pm learn how counties are investing federal funds to support local infrastructure priorities and drive COVID-19 recovery. Join officials from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Transportation to learn about their recently announced partnership on forthcoming funding opportunities that include requirements and allowances for focuses on job quality and equitable workforce development. Register here.

  • Braiding Philanthropic and Nonprofit Support with ARPA and Infrastructure Funds: The Kresge Foundation is offering an open-access webinar, happening 12-1 p.m. CT on June 17, will be the first of a three-part learning series. The webinar will detail the latest news and practices for philanthropic or nonprofit practitioners interested in braiding investments alongside historic federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Register here.

  • Practical Approaches to Weaving Equity into Public Engagement: Join a panel on June 21st, at 12-1 pm of local government leaders as they take a deeper dive into real life, practical applications of public engagement best practice and equity building. The session is designed to help governments better position themselves and their projects in the highly competitive federal funding environment. Register here.

  • Building for Success: How Counties can leverage Federal Funds for Workforce Housing: On June 23rd from 2-3 p.m. learn new strategies and ideas from fellow county leaders, top research organizations and NACo staff that can help you leverage federal funds to support your county’s workforce through housing. Register here.

Resources

  • Good Jobs and IIJA: This report outlines four proven ways to ensure that new federal infrastructure investments create good jobs, boost equity, and support good value.


Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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