ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones outlined her proposal to allocate the first $80 million in immediate federal direct relief funding from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Having received public input and work from community leaders, the mayor said her proposal addresses the massive scope of the COVID-19 crisis and treats the root causes of crime in St. Louis.
“Our city’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must be equitable across zip codes and racial lines,” Jones said.
“From much-needed housing assistance to violence prevention programs, our first allocation of $80 million will help stabilize neighborhoods, improve public safety and build a strong foundation to invest more federal rescue funds down the road.”
She added that “the people of St. Louis are relying on us to deliver this aid quickly to boost life-saving vaccination efforts and keep families in their homes ahead of a potential eviction crisis.”
Highlights of the administration’s plan include:
- $6.75 million in public health infrastructure to get people vaccinated with mobile vaccine clinics and community canvases to meet St. Louisans in their neighborhoods and homes.
- $58 million will go toward direct, urgent economic relief, including housing and utility assistance, support for the unhoused, immediate cash assistance, and public benefits navigators to help residents connect with these services.
- $11.5 million to improve public safety through increased funding for violence intervention programs and youth programming and jobs to keep youth engaged and safe.
The administration is urging the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to quickly approve the funds to ensure continuity of COVID-related services, as CARES Act funding for rental assistance and contact tracing expires July 1.
The board of alderman, as well as the board of estimate and apportionment, will have to approve any spending. The board of alderman has until July 1 to approve or reject it.