American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was a major piece of legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was designed to provide financial relief and support to individuals, businesses, and governments affected by the economic and public health challenges posed by the pandemic. Part of ARPA’s provisions included funding for state and local governments, which was distributed to help them respond to the pandemic’s impact. Here are some key details about the American Rescue Plan Act and how money was distributed to city governments:Funding Allocation: ARPA allocated a substantial amount of funding to state and local governments. In total, the act provided approximately $350 billion in aid to state and local governments to address the economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.City Government Allocation: The funding for city governments was distributed based on a formula that took into account factors such as population and poverty rates. This formula aimed to ensure that cities of different sizes and needs received an appropriate share of the funds. It’s important to note that ARPA funds were not restricted to cities alone but were also distributed to counties, tribes, and other local governments. Use of Funds: The funds provided through ARPA were intended to be used for a wide range of purposes related to pandemic response and recovery. This included but was not limited to:  

  • Supporting public health efforts, such as COVID-19 testing, vaccination distribution, and contact tracing.
  • Addressing negative economic impacts, including assistance to individuals and businesses.
  • Replenishing revenue lost by local governments due to the pandemic.
  • Investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure improvements.
  • Funding educational initiatives, including K-12 schools and higher education.
  • Mitigating the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations and underserved communities.
Council President Darrell O'Quinn
The Act provided city governments with flexibility in how they could use the funds, allowing them to prioritize their specific needs and challenges related to ongoing recovery efforts. ARPA funds were made available for use over an extended period through the end of 2024, allowing city governments to plan and implement initiatives over a multi-year timeframe. Following the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021, the City of Birmingham, Alabama received over $140 million from the federal government. Each City Council District Office received $3 million in funds to distribute to projects and initiatives in their districts.Here is a breakdown of how the ARPA funds have been distributed as of September 15th, 2023: 

The Birmingham City Councilors have utilized their ARPA funds in a wide variety of ways thus far. From expanding broadband to underserved communities, to contributing to rail infrastructure safety improvements, to mental health services. Here is a breakdown of how each office has allocated their ARPA funds as of September 15, 2023: