Phoenix Debates How To Spend $416 Million In Federal Funds

Published: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 12:13pm

Phoenix is working on ways to spend $416 million from the American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

The federal money comes with strings attached: Phoenix can help people and organizations economically suffering, use it to cover pandemic costs related to essential public workers, and make investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.

During a meeting on Wednesday, City Council members will discuss their priorities, which include more funding for homelessness, rent and utility assistance, and small-business grants. The council will also consider giving money to the Phoenix Convention Center and Rental Car Facility at Sky Harbor Airport to make up for lost revenue over the last year.

Phoenix expects to receive two payments over a 12-month period with the first payment of $208 million expected no later than mid-May. Current federal guidance says money may only be used to cover COVID-19 incurred expenditures between March 3, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2024.

According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Treasury, the American Rescue Plan provides $21.6 billion for states, territories and local governments. It includes a minimum of $152 million for each state and the District of Columbia, and $2.5 billion for payments to “high-need grantees,” locations with urgent need “for assistance when factoring conditions such as change in employment, concentration of very low-income renters, and rental market costs.”

In 2020, Phoenix received $293 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.

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