City of Birmingham approves spending plan for remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 4:40 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Birmingham has approved a plan to spend the more than $40 million dollars it has left from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

The federal funds are part of the more than $140 million the city received from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The city council approved a plan Tuesday to fund several key initiatives. Mayor Randall Woodfin said these dollars will be transformational for the city.

The money being used for an affordable housing trust fund, blight removal, healthy food initiatives, and more.

From supporting new and existing small businesses, to increasing access to affordable homeownership, the future of Birmingham is looking brighter, thanks to a shot in the arm from the federal government.

“So, these funds are part of the American Rescue Plan Act, specifically a program called Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds that are distributed by the U.S. Department of Treasury,” Amelia Muller with the City of Birmingham.

The city council approved a spending plan Tuesday of nearly $41 million building up communities throughout Birmingham and supporting neighbors in a number of different ways.

“These dollars represent a transformative investment from the Biden-Harris Administration in communities to directly address the underlying causes of the public health crisis and to essentially mitigate many of the challenges that we know exasperated the pandemic,” Muller said.

The allocations include $10 million for an affordable housing trust fund designed to promote equity and access to homeownership, $3.7 million to tear down blighted buildings at the Carraway redevelopment site, as well as $1 million for healthy food initiatives to address food insecurity.

City leaders said these dollars are already working in your community.

“Just this week, we announced the expansion of the footprint for Via Micro Transit. So, residents are able to experience subsidized rides, we’re also actively deploying forgivable loans to new and existing small businesses, [and] we are actively breaking ground and cutting ribbons on home in neighborhoods that have been developed with these funds,” Muller explained. “So, residents are seeing these funds out the door in their communities now.”

The City of Birmingham has until the end of 2024 to finalize all budget allocations and city leaders say they’re pretty close to doing that now.

All of the money must be used by the end of 2026.

At that time, city leaders will have to return any leftover money to the federal government.

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