Maricopa County allocates $435M in American Rescue Plan funds

JoAnn Zimpher hangs an open sign outside Trader J's Gift Shop Friday, May 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County officials announced Wednesday federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act have been allocated to help the state’s economic recovery needs related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Around $435 million in funding approved by the Board of Supervisors will be used, aiming to bring services and stability to people impacted by the pandemic.

“Maricopa County took immediate and aggressive action to ease the pain of our citizens during the worst of the pandemic,” Jack Sellers, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman, said in the press release.

“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.”

The largest allocation of $136 million will be used for setting up two new health clinics that will provide services such as COVID-19 vaccinations, a vaccination campaign and to fund recently purchased vehicles health officials intend to drive to hard-to-reach areas in efforts to vaccinate more people.

The county set aside $60 million for small businesses and plans to help through a combination of grants, loans, and technical assistance to remain open, while $25 million has been designated to job assistance for justice-involved people and support for those on unemployment insurance.

Another $30 million will go into the development and support of affordable housing in the region, while additional housing funds will be used for home repairs for families in need.

To keep people in their homes, the county said it will continue 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.”

Approximately $20 million has been set aside for rent and mortgage assistance.

Just over $65 million will be distributed towards people impacted by domestic violence, people with disabilities, addressing issues related to homelessness and for services related to behavioral health and addiction recovery.

“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,” Sellers said in the release.