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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 new 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 $115 million is earmarked for revenue replacement over FY22 to FY24 that supports the City's annual operating budget. $95 million has already been appropriated for an emergency relief package, a fare free bus pilot, and for small businesses’ emergency needs, leaving $350 million for once-in-a-generation, transformational investments that must create lasting impact.

Our guiding principles for $350 million in Remaining 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

$349.5M Transformative Investments (Filed April 2022)

$55M Revenue Replacement FY22 (July 2021)

$40M Revenue Replacement FY23 (Filed April 2022)

$20M Revenue Replacement FY24

$81.5M Emergency Relief Package (July 2021)

$8M Fare Free Bus Expansion (Nov. 2021)

$5M Small Business Fund 2.0 Expansion (Jan. 2022)

Remaining ARPA Funds

Boston's American Rescue Plan

Learn how Boston is using its American Rescue Plan funding:

View the mayor's plan (April 2022) 
View OuR Spending dashboard

$349.5 Million Proposed for Transformative Investments

$206 MILLION in unprecedented funding for affordable housing
  • $60 million for affordable homeownership development and financial assistance to first-generation homebuyers 
  • $57 million for strategic acquisitions to combat displacement and deeply-affordable development on City-owned land
  • $33 million in upgrades to public housing units to improve air quality, energy efficiency and resident comfort at Franklin Field, Ruth Barkley, Alice Taylor, Roslyn and Rockland developments
  • $20 million for a nation-leading pilot for energy retrofits in triple deckers and other multi-family homes while maintaining affordability
  • $20 million to develop new permanent supportive housing with specialized services for people with substance use disorder
  • $16 million to maintain some low-threshold shelter sites in response to the humanitarian crisis at Mass-Cass
$34 MILLION to promote economic opportunity and inclusion
  • $10 million to create a ecosystem that grows diverse employer firms
  • $9 million to build a commercial rental rebate program to support small business recovery and build wealth in our neighborhood
  • $6 million to expand tuition-free community college and workforce training programs of the 21st century
  • $4 million to further invest in our Main Street business districts
  • $3 million to build economic resilience for immigrant families 
  • $2 million to support small diverse businesses through a tourism campaign and digital commerce platform
$31.5 MILLION to advance climate resilience and improve mobility for all Bostonians
  • $16 million to build safe and accessible walking and biking infrastructure
  • $6 million to expand the Youth Green Jobs program
  • $2.5 million to grow and preserve our urban tree canopy, including an innovative pilot program on private land
  • $2.5 million to strengthen our local food systems through urban farms, raised bed gardening and farmer’s markets
  • $2.5 million to support the electrification of the BPS school bus fleet
  • $2 million to continue the fare free bus program 
$20 MILLION to strengthen arts and culture 
  • $15 million to elevate and invest in BIPOC-led cultural organizations 
  • $5 million for reactivating our public spaces in both our neighborhoods and Downtown for artists, cultural workers and community organizations
$20 MILLION to ensure an equitable response to the ongoing pandemic
  • Supporting critical COVID-19 vaccination efforts, ongoing testing, community engagement, and continued collaboration with community-based organizations and community health centers 
$18 MILLION to support behavioral and mental health
  • $12 million to develop a new Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness, driven by an overarching mission to reduce stigma, ensure community-driven response, and train a culturally-responsive workforce
  • $6 million to support our public health response to the ongoing substance use and mental health crises
$15 MILLION to INVEST IN our early education and childcare system AS A PUBLIC GOOD
  • Growing the early educator workforce and streamlining access and enrollment for Boston families
$5 MILLION for evaluation and equitable administration
  • Supporting language access, establish an equity framework, and ensure strong compliance with federal guidelines

We have more details on the Mayor's Plan for ARPA Transformative InvestmentsVisit the FY23 Budget Analyses page to see how ARPA works alongside Capital and Operating funds. 

$149.5 million approved for emergency relief

Emergency Relief
$81.5 million for emergency relief

In partnership with City Council, the City of Boston passed an $81.5 million emergency relief plan in the summer of 2021 to support an equitable recovery and reopening for Boston residents, workers and small businesses. Learn more this emergency relief plan.

$8 million for Fare Free Bus Pilot

As one of her first acts in office, Mayor Wu appropriated $8 million for an innovative program to make three MBTA bus lines (Routes 23, 28, and 29) free for a two-year period. To learn more, check out the Free Bus Program webpage.

$5 million for Small Business Relief Fund

The City of Boston replenished the Small Business Relief Fund 2.0 with $5 million. These funds will help support additional Boston small businesses as they continue their recovery. To learn more, visit the Small Business Relief Fund website

$95M for Revenue Replacement

  • In support of the FY23 operating budget, the City has filed an order to spend an additional $40 million to offset local revenue declines during the pandemic. The goal is to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.
  • In the FY22 operating budget, the City has dedicated $55 million to offset local revenue declines during the pandemic. 
  • $19.7M has been reserved for FY24 revenue replacement.

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

Opportunities for funding

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
  • 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.

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