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Boston's American Rescue Plan

Learn how Boston is investing our federal stimulus funds in an equitable, effective, and transparent way.

Our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be driven by and for the people of Boston using the American Rescue Plan resources. Through emergency relief and transformative investments, we want to ensure that every Bostonian has the opportunity to thrive in the months and years ahead.

What is ARPA?

The City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation totals almost $560 million, of which $95 million is earmarked for revenue replacement over FY22 to FY23 that supports the City's annual operating budget.  As of July 31, 2022, $551.7 million has been budgeted to continue the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to help drive an equitable recovery for all Boston residents.

Here are our guiding principles for Boston's ARPA Funds: 

  • Once-in-a-generation opportunity for transformative investments
  • Jumpstart solutions to long-term challenges and make some big bets on Boston, while recognizing that we have to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at the same time
  • Focus on cross-departmental ideas that address equity, climate justice, jobs, and health 
  • Leverage additional public and private resources and prioritize financial sustainability beyond ARPA
  • Incorporate public feedback from the Budget Listening Tour in Winter 2022 and the Let’s Go Better Campaign in Fall 2021
$362.2 million Transformative Investments (July 2022)
$81.5 million Emergency Relief Package (July 2021)
$55 million FY22 Revenue Replacement (July 2021)
$40 million Revenue Replacement FY23 (June 2022)
$8 million Fare Free Bus Expansion (Nov. 2021)
$7 million Funds not yet appropriated (as of July 2022)
$5 million Small Business Fund 2.0 Expansion (Jan. 2022)

ARPA Funds

Boston's Use of ARPA Funds

Boston's Use of ARPA Funds

  • $235M in unprecedented funding for safe, healthy, and affordable housing
  • $95M to ensure the stability of core City services
  • $61.1M to promote economic opportunity and inclusion
  • $50M to advance climate resilience and improve mobility
  • $38M to ensure an equitable public health response to the ongoing pandemic
  • $26.3M to strengthen arts and culture and activate our neighborhoods
  • $23.6M to support behavioral and mental health
  • $17.7M to focus on early education and childcare
  • $5M for program evaluation and equitable administration

review all budgeted projects

Opportunities for funding

Lessons from Community Meetings

Community Meetings
  • Read about what we heard from residents on Boston’s ARPA federal funds through the Let's Go Better Listening campaign:

Summary of 2021 meetings

How we can use federal funds

Overall, federal funds can be used to:

  • support Boston’s public health response
  • address negative economic impacts of the pandemic
  • replace lost public sector revenue
  • provide premium pay for essential workers, and
  • invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. 

Specifically, federal funds can be used for programs and services that address:

  • public health needs related to COVID-19
  • negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency
  • communities most impacted by COVID-19, including those in Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs)
  • lost public sector revenue
  • premium pay for essential workers, and
  • water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Federal funds cannot offset a tax revenue reduction or be deposited into a pension fund. ARPA funds are time-limited. All funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024. 

More recovery funds information

Additional guidance may be released from the U.S. Treasury in the coming months and we will update this page accordingly

Common questions

Common questions

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is a federal law that was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The ARP focuses on supporting the most vulnerable communities and businesses. The law grants about $1.85 trillion in relief funding for individuals and local governments.

Boston expects to receive $558.7 million from the the American Rescue Plan. These are one-time funds that must be allocated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. 

Prior to the ARP, the federal government passed two COVID-19 relief packages. Boston received: 

  • over $160 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) in March 2020, and
  • over $150 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020.

All federal funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Any remaining funds must be returned to the U.S. Treasury.

An internal Equitable Recovery Coordinating Committee will oversee the allocation and disbursement of all ARPA funds. The Committee is composed of City Cabinet Chiefs, including the Chief Policy and Strategic Planning, the Chief of Equity and Inclusion, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief of Community Engagement. It has been informed by public feedback through the Let's Go Better ARPA Listening Tour in Fall 2021 and the FY23 Budget Listening Sessions.

The City of Boston must submit to the U.S. Treasury:

  1. a quarterly project and expenditure reports, and
  2. annual recovery plan performance reports

For the latest news, please continue to check this website. which is updated frequently. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email recover@boston.gov.

  • August 2021: Boston City Council votes to accept and expend $136.5 million for emergency relief.
  • November 2022: On her first full day in office, Mayor Wu filed an appropriation request for $8 million in ARPA funds to make the 23, 28, and 29 MBTA bus lines free for two years, expanding the groundbreaking pilot.
  • January 2022: An additional $5 million was approved to support the expansion of the Small Business Relief Fund.
  • July 2022: An additional $362.2 million was appropriated to support once-in-a-lifetime, transformative investments in Boston’s future. 
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