The City of St. Petersburg received approximately $45 million from the American Rescue Plan Act last year and has recently released how the funds will be allocated.
ST. PETERSBURG — In 2021, the City of St. Petersburg received approximately $45 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for investment and has identified key projects that will directly impact St. Pete residents and fall within Mayor Ken Welch’s five Pillars for Progress:
- Housing Opportunities for All
- Neighborhood Health & Safety
- Equitable Development Arts & Business Opportunities
- Education & Youth Opportunities
- Environment, Infrastructure & Resilience
“Our allocation of these ARPA funds will have a positive impact on Housing Opportunities for All, as well as Neighborhood Health and Safety,” explained Mayor Ken Welch. “This partnership with city council and the Biden Administration will allow us to provide much-needed resources to our residents in need and moves our strategic vision and efforts forward in our pursuit of inclusive progress for St. Petersburg.”
ARPA intends to provide relief funds to state, local and tribal governments that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Governments can use these funds to respond to the public health and economic emergency, provide premium pay to essential workers, replace revenue lost due to the pandemic and make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
How will these funds be utilized?
The final allocation plan seeks to spend ARPA funds in the following categories:
— $34,303,505 for Housing Affordability and Support
— $11,110,365 for Health and Social Equity
Housing affordability and support
The city continues to face a historic increase in rents and housing costs, which has amplified the already existing strain on affordable housing. To address the affordable housing crisis and align with Mayor Welch’s Pillar of Housing Opportunities for All, approximately 75 percent of the ARPA funds ($34.3 million) will be allocated to affordable housing and support. Examples include new housing units, rental assistance, family shelter and supportive services.
Health and social equity
With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact residents in areas such as mental health challenges and food insecurity, the city sought to strategically utilize approximately 25 percent of the ARPA funds ($11.1 million) to address root causes of these conditions and develop projects aligned with the mayor’s Pillar of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and Pillar of Youth Opportunities. Examples include neighborhood services, nonprofit funding, food security programs and youth development opportunities.
Major housing projects for announced:
On Thursday, Oct. 20, a series of housing projects were approved by the St. Petersburg City Council. The projects will utilize President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and add 483 new affordable units to St. Pete.
The units will be spread throughout the city and are 100 percent affordable under 80 percent AMI. Two of these projects will target special populations such as people with disabilities and homeless individuals – and two projects will be for seniors.
For more information about the city’s use of ARPA funds, visit stpete.org/ARPA.