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FY23 Federal Funds

In response to the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government passed three unprecedented relief packages, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Federal Relief Packages

Federal Relief Packages
American Rescue Plan Act (March 2021) - $1.9 Trillion Stimulus

$700+ million for Boston:

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (December 2020) - $900 Billion Stimulus

$150+ million for Boston:

CARES Act (March 2020) - $2.2 Trillion Stimulus

$181+ million for Boston:

  • Coronavirus Relief Fund: $121 million
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Funds: $16 million
  • K-12 Funding - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund): $32 million
  • Other smaller grants (Age Strong, FEMA, Arts): $14+ million

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill providing hundreds of millions in federal funding to:

  • the City of Boston
  • the Boston Public Schools, and
  • other local organizations through December 2024.

Eligible uses of ARPA funding are broader than CARES-CRF funding and include:

  • revenue replacement to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs
  • urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control
  • assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery
  • addressing systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations, and
  • investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

The City’s ARPA allocation totals almost $560 million, of which $110 million is earmarked for revenue replacement over FY22 to FY24 that supports the City's annual operating budget. Over $90 million has already been appropriated for:

  • an emergency relief package
  • a fare free bus pilot, and
  • for small businesses’ emergency needs, leaving $349.5 million for once-in-a-generation, long-term transformational investments.

Informed by the results of a robust public feedback process, Mayor Wu filed an appropriation order for the remaining ARPA funding with the City Council to support the following priorities: 

  • $206 million for housing stability, affordable homeownership and financial assistance to first-generation homebuyers, strategic acquisitions to combat displacement, and deeply-affordable housing creation on City-owned land; a nation-leading pilot to advance energy efficiency in triple deckers and other multi-family homes while maintaining affordability; and upgrades to public housing units across five sites for air quality, energy efficiency, and health
  • $34 million for economic opportunity and inclusion, to grow BIPOC-owned businesses, further invest in our Main Street business districts, expand tuition-free community college and workforce training programs, and create a commercial rental rebate program to support small business recovery and build wealth in our neighborhoods
  • $31.5 million for climate-focused investments, including expanding the Green Youth Jobs program, creating walking and biking infrastructure, growing and preserving our urban tree canopy, strengthening our local food systems, and supporting electrification of the City vehicle and school bus fleet
  • $20 million for transformative arts and culture investments that will facilitate placemaking and strengthen both downtown and our neighborhood communities
  • $20 million to ensure an equitable response to the ongoing pandemic by support critical COVID-19 vaccination efforts, ongoing testing, community engagement, and continued collaboration with community-based organizations and community health centers
  • $18 million to tackle behavioral health and substance use disorder challenges
  • $15 million for investments in our early education and childcare system, including growing the early educator workforce and streamlining access and enrollment for Boston families, and
  • $5 million for evaluation and equitable administration, to support language access, establish an equity framework, and ensure strong compliance with federal guidelines.

For more information on ARPA, visit the City's American Rescue Plan website.

CARES and CARES-Coronavirus Relief Fund

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law on March 27, 2020. CARES provided additional funding to Boston using existing federal funding formula grants for City departments, including the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Age Strong Commission, and the Boston Public Schools.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) provided funds directly to local governments. Boston was awarded $120.8 million from CARES-CRF, which were limited to: 

  • necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency of COVID-19
  • related costs not accounted for in the most recent adopted budget, and
  • costs incurred between March through December 2020.

The second stimulus, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, provided an additional $900 billion in stimulus relief and extended the availability of CARES-CRF funding by one year, through December 31, 2021. This second stimulus package provided a second round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funding to the Boston Public Schools, as well as a brand new Emergency Rent Relief program awarded to the Mayor's Office of Housing.

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