Detroiters Rank Spending Priorities for American Rescue Plan Funds

Detroit will be coming into some money soon — $826 million dollars to be exact.

This large chunk of change is coming from the American Rescue Plan, the fifth-largest amount of any city in America is coming to Detroit. The 1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill was signed into law in March 2021 to help alleviate the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

On June 7th, the Detroit city council gathered to ask community members how they feel the money should be spent.

“I wanted to lift up fighting intergenerational poverty as well as neighborhood investments as well as parks and small businesses. If we can leverage neighborhood investment to include early childhood support, that’s best. If you don’t have children, you don’t have a community. It’s imperative that we start putting more emphasis on early childhood development so that our children can move the city forward, said Tamara Grice in an earlier published article from the Chronicle.

The payments will be broken up into two payments of 413 million distributed this June 2021, with the second equal disbursement in May 2022.

Detroiters have identified neighborhood rebuilding, tackling poverty and improving public safety as top priorities for the America Rescue Plan funds, according to a press release.

City of Detroit officials asked for residents’ input on how to spend funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and Detroiters have spoken.

Under ARPA, Detroit will receive $826 million, with $400 million designated for COVID-19 relief funding to restore the City’s budget. Residents were asked to weigh in on the remaining $426 million. A total of 3296 residents attended 60 in-person, conference calls or zoom meetings to hear the ARPA presentation in May and June, with 584 residents taking the survey.

For details on the survey results and community engagement efforts, go to detroitmi.gov/arpa.

Based on the surveys, Detroiters identified rebuilding neighborhoods, fighting intergenerational poverty and improving public safety as the top 3 funding priorities. Here is a brief summary of those priorities.

1st Priority – Rebuilding Neighborhoods

Residents want additional funds for:

  • Home repairs for seniors, low-income & disability community
  • Grants to block clubs/neighborhood associations to improve vacant land from the Land Bank
  • Vacant property cleanouts

2nd Priority – Fight Intergenerational Poverty

Residents want additional funds for:

  • Skills for life employment
  • Expanded Community Health Corps
  • Property foreclosure prevention

3rd Priority – Improve Public Safety

Residents want to:

  • Stop speeding and drifting
  • Use technology to fight gun violence
  • Add EMS bays to firehouses

Based on the results, Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his plan to Detroit City Council June 18 for consideration. The Council was asked to approve the plan by June 30 and is expected to vote during its formal session June 29. The City has received $413 million so far, with remaining funds expected to arrive in May 2022. The City must spend ARPA funds by December 2024.

 

 

 

 

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