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Board of Supervisors unanimously approves American Rescue Plan Act Spending Plan

Fernanda Lopez Halvorson

County of San Diego Communications Office

The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today on how to spend the final $102 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

In 2021, the county got $650 million in ARPA funds from the federal government and adopted a framework for spending it. ARPA is a stimulus bill meant to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impacts.

Village News/Courtesy photo

The Board of Supervisors approved $15 million for the Regional Homeless Assistance program to support people in the unincorporated area.

The projected remaining $102 million in ARPA funds is broken down into two categories: $67 million in ARPA framework funds and $35 million dedicated for "evergreen" programs.

The Board approved the following breakdown of ARPA Framework funds:

· $15 million for the Regional Homeless Assistance program to support people in the unincorporated area.

· $10 million for COVID-related costs.

· $4.3 million to complete pilot programs like the Family Income for Empowerment Program which gives families with children under 18 years old $500 a month for 24 months.

· $27.1 million to continue running ARPA programs for things like homeless assistance, housing and behavioral health services.

· And $10 million which will be set aside in case FEMA does not reimburse the County for pandemic-era hotel rooms for vulnerable populations.

For the "evergreen" component, which is for programs that have a lasting benefit in our region, including in behavioral health, housing, climate change, economic prosperity, homelessness and workforce, the board voted to spend:

· $15 million for the implementation of Senate Bill 43 (Involuntary Behavioral Health Treatment) including Public Conservator infrastructure, crisis stabilization capacity and overall substance use disorder treatment services capacity. 

· $10.6 million for the Innovative Housing Trust Fund to create more affordable housing.

· $10 million to expand San Diego County's behavioral health workforce including recruitment, retention and workforce development.

· Up to $10 million for natural disaster prevention and preparedness pending reimbursement from FEMA of funds spent for the January storm relief.

In the coming months, staff will present to the board more detailed recommendations on today's approved ARPA spending.

The county has until December 2026 to fully spend ARPA money.

 

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