American Rescue Plan Act 2021
In May 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
The City of Lowell is expected to receive two separate funding allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act:
- $54,450,130 – allocated by virtue of the city’s designation as a “metropolitan city” in Massachusetts
- $21,527,184 – allocated by distributing the funds designated to Middlesex County to cities and towns based on the percentage of county population
$75,977,314 = Total Expected Funding
These two amounts together must be obligated by December 31, 2024, but actual payments can lag to December 31, 2026.
Eligible Uses of Funding
The attached quick reference guide and fact sheet provide details on the ways funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic-response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among state and local governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Treasury guidance states that recipients can use funds to:
- Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral health care, mental health and substance misuse treatment, and certain public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis, among other uses.
- Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including by rehiring public sector workers, providing aid to households facing food, housing or other financial insecurity, offering small business assistance, and extending support for industries hardest hit by the crisis.
- Aid the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, supporting an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate harms of the pandemic, but its exacerbation of longstanding public health, economic and educational disparities.
- Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service during the pandemic.
- Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, improving access to clean drinking water, supporting vital wastewater and storm water infrastructure, and expanding access to broadband internet.