The City of Worcester was awarded approximately $146 million from the US Department of Treasury and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts related to American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The links below will connect you to further information on Federal allowances and the City's initial goals and objectives related to funding. While Federal guidance on the use of funding continues to evolve, the City hosted a series of summer and fall 2021 community needs input sessions to help inform potential uses of the ARPA funds in different neighborhoods throughout the City, in addition to an online survey covering the same questions discussed at the in-person input sessions. Read the Results. As such, approximately $50 million has been reserved for affordable housing solutions and local community-based programs/projects addressing Public Health Emergency and Negative Economic Impacts.
Consistent with the ARPA budget submitted to the City Council, the City of Worcester will be releasing a number of Requests for Proposals/Program Applications in the outlined categories of funding.
Community Projects & Programs - this program is designed to assist nonprofit organizations with grant funding to support projects and programs that respond to the negative effects of the pandemic. Proposals for programmatic assistance can request up to $250,000, and proposals for capital improvement projects can request up to $1,000,000.
Small Business Safety Net - this program will provide grants to for-profit small businesses that were impacted by the pandemic. Grants will range from $5,000 - $11,500 based on the program guidelines.
Small Business Technical Assistance - this program will provide grants to community based organizations, nonprofits or community collaborations to provide targeted assistance to small business COVID-19 recovery. Applicants can request up to $100,000 based on the program guidelines.
Lead Abatement - this program will provide grants to property owners to abate lead paint hazards in residential properties built prior to 1978. Grant amounts are up to $15,000 per eligible unit.
Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation - this program will provide grants to owner-occupied properties to assist in addressing building or sanitary code violations. Grant amounts are up to $30,000 per eligible unit.
Flood Insurance Assistance - this program is designed to assist owner-occupied properties that are located in flood zone. Grants are provided in amount of 50% of the annual flood insurance premium cost.
The City has established ad-hoc committees to review various priorities and grant applications within core areas - affordable housing, social services, mental health, business assistance and arts & culture.
Committee assignments are as follows:
The mission of these committees is to provide insight in the prioritization of grant applications to help ensure that grant awards are representative of the community and meet the overall goals and priorities set by the City and Federal Government, including but not limited to those most disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially low-income communities and communities of color.
To advance its mission the committees will:
Term of Office:
Members shall serve a term dictated by granting cycles within each funding category but shall expire no later than December 31, 2024.
Committees will meet regularly and as-needed to support the distribution of ARPA funds in their respective category.
Through the collaborative efforts of the Budget Office and Office of Urban Innovation, a dashboard is now available representing the entire $146M allocations, which includes the $50M in community-based initiatives that the ad hoc committees are being mobilized to assist with. This dashboard will be updated on a monthly basis to reflect the ARPA budget and cumulative expenditures that have been incurred against the City's ARPA awards (both federal and state pass-through).