On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), also known as ARPA, into law. The $1.9 trillion package is intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including the public health and economic impacts. ARPA allocates hundreds of billions of dollars for public health and vaccines, assistance for vulnerable populations, education and housing stabilization, economic recovery assistance and direct assistance.
About 19% of ARPA funds are dedicated to the Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF). These funds are sent to nearly every State, Tribal Nation, County, City, Town, and Village across the country--including Somerville. Funds can be used for the following purposes: responding to the COVID19 pandemic and its negative impacts; to provide premium pay to essential workers who worked during the COVID19 pandemic; to replace government's lost revenue; and to make investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure. Funds must be obligated by December 31st, 2024 and fully spent by December 31st, 2026. Most projects must close by December 31st, 2024—discuss with ARPA staff for more details.
How to Apply for ARPA
ARPA funding can be used by the City or be subawarded to nonprofit organizations to run projects and programs. Non-governmental organizations who want to apply for ARPA funds must have a UEI number, undergo a brief financial risk assessment, and be paired with a municipal liaison to assist with administrative tasks. This helps ensure that these federal funds are tracked well and likely to be utilized responsibly.
There are three basic requirements that all ARPA-funded projects must meet:
- Your proposal must have a strong tie to COVID recovery. How does your project help Somerville recover from the impacts of the pandemic?
- Your project must fall within one of the ARPA expenditure categories. See pages 42 to 44 of the federal Treasury’s ARPA Compliance and Reporting document to review the categories. ARPA staff can help you find the right expenditure category for your project.
- You must be able to gather and report back on required data. Depending on your expenditure category, you may be report back on information such as:
- The number of households served by your project;
- The number of households served by your project who fall into the impacted and disproportionately impacted categories below;
- A short description of the evidence you’ve used to determine that your project is needed in Somerville and is likely to succeed. This may include scholarly articles showing evidence of success for programs similar to yours and / or local needs assessments showing the need for programs like yours in Somerville.
Disproportionately Impacted Households
Low- or moderate- income households (earning less than 300% FPL or 65% AMI)
Low-income households (earning less than 185% FPL or 40% AMI)
Households experiencing food insecurity, housing instability, or unemployment
Households in a Qualified Census Tract (Zoom in on the map to Somerville, then click "Color QCT Qualified Tracts" under "Map Options" on the lefthand side.)
Households who qualify for:
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)
- MassHealth / Medicaid
- National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) or Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), if an affordable housing project
Households who qualify for:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)
- Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (NSLP) and / or School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidies
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Head Start and / or Early Head Start
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Progarm for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Section 8 Vouchers
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Pell Grants
- Services to address educational disparities, Treasury will recognize Title I eligible schools (36) as disproportionately impacted and responsive services that support the school generally or support the whole school as eligible
If your organization and your project meet the criteria above, you can work with the ARPA team to apply for ARPA funding for your project. Here are the steps we recommend:
- Review the documents in this folder to learn more about the ARPA process and begin to plan your application
- Connect with the ARPA office to discuss and workshop your project idea
- If you do not have a municipal department or employee as a partner on the project, we will work together to find one
- Erica Satin-Hernandez, ARPA Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Set up your log-in information in the ARPA application portal
- Submit your ARPA application
The Mayor’s ARPA Advisory Committee
The Mayor seeks to build a committee of diverse local constituents who will co-create with her the broad funding guidelines for Somerville's ARPA program. These guidelines will be used by: ARPA staff to solicit and judge applications; the public to have a transparent view of how this once-in-a-generation funding source will be spent in their community; and project applicants to understand the City's priorities for project funding.
The ARPA Advisory Committee will:
- Review the findings of the ARPA community engagement process
- Create a statement of community values for all ARPA projects to adhere to
- Establish the Mayor's ARPA Funding Priorities, which will provide broad guidelines for how the City will allocate ARPA funds between different eligible uses
- Provide feedback on the ARPA funding criteria / request for proposals
The ARPA Advisory Committee will not review any ARPA funding applications. In addition, its members may not submit any ARPA funding applications during their time on the Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee members are:
- Leiran Biton
- Clemintina Cabral
- Leslie Hergert
- Justin Hong
- Ahmed Ismail
- Cate Mingoya-Lafortune
- Izaene Santiago Pereira
- Consuelo J. Perez
- Judy Pineda-Neufeld
- Susan Putnins
- Jhenny Saint-Surin
- Arah Schuur
- Morgan Simko