Maricopa County is using a new influx of federal funds to bring services and stability to individuals, families, and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
When the Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal year 2022 budget, they also approved spending priorities for $435 million in federal funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress. ARPA funds are meant to help communities address public health and economic recovery needs related to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Maricopa County took immediate and aggressive action to ease the pain of our citizens during the worst of the pandemic. Now, using ARPA money, we will build on the experience we have implementing targeted, successful assistance programs to support small business owners, seniors and persons with disabilities, folks struggling to get a job or pay bills, and people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1. “How we treat and respond to these members of our community not only says a lot about who we are as public servants, but will also determine the speed and extent to which Maricopa County can bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Under the plan approved by the Board, the County would allocate funds to key recovery efforts including:
$136 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19
The County is focused on ending the pandemic. This starts with getting more people vaccinated. To support that effort, Maricopa County has purchased vehicles that will allow Public Health to take mobile COVID-19 vaccinations to hard-to-reach populations. ARPA funds are also being used for a vaccination campaign that seeks to get facts to people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated. In addition, ARPA funds will be used to establish two new public health clinics—one in the Southwest Valley and one in the East Valley—which will provide an array of services including COVID-19 vaccinations.
$60 million for business support
The County will continue its effort to help small businesses keep their doors open and thrive in a post-COVID world through a combination of grants, loans, and technical assistance. The focus will be on small and micro-sized businesses.
$40 million for housing
Home prices and rent prices continue to climb. Maricopa County aims to make an impact by investing $30 million to develop and support affordable housing in the region. Funds will also be available to support home repairs for families in need.
$25 million for workforce support
ARPA-funded initiatives include job assistance for justice-involved individuals and support for people on unemployment insurance as they transition to self-sufficiency.
$20 million for rent and mortgage assistance
Eviction prevention remains a priority of the Board with some people relying on the social safety net for the first time in their lives. To keep people in their homes, the County is continuing to fund short-term rent and mortgage payments for families in need as well as longer-term case management to help people be self-sufficient.
Additional areas of focus:
- $23.5 million for services related to behavioral health and addiction recovery
- $15 million to support seniors and persons with disabilities
- $15 million to support people impacted by domestic violence
- $12 million to address issues related to homelessness
Maricopa County has been successful using federal dollars to make an impact in people’s lives. Using CARES Act funds in 2020, the County provided rental and utility assistance for more than 6,000 households, financial assistance for more than 3,000 small businesses, and more than 57,000 computers and hotspot devices for students to support remote learning. Maricopa County also led the public health response in our community, performing more than 500,000 COVID-19 case investigations while making COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccinations accessible to all members of the community.