Opinion

Chairman Sellers: Here’s how Maricopa County is allocating American Rescue Plan funds

Posted 9/1/21

As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I’ve made it clear that to secure a brighter future for our county, we don’t just need to beat the pandemic, we also need to put into place …

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Opinion

Chairman Sellers: Here’s how Maricopa County is allocating American Rescue Plan funds

Posted

As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I’ve made it clear that to secure a brighter future for our county, we don’t just need to beat the pandemic, we also need to put into place programs, services, and systems that support stability and growth for many years.

Federal recovery funds played a critical role in our success, and Maricopa County has already proven to be a trustworthy steward of these taxpayer dollars. Through the CARES Act, we were able to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccines to millions of people, as well as:

  • Financial assistance to more than 3,300 small businesses;
  • Rent and utility assistance to more than 6,000 households;
  • Grants to dozens of nonprofits and food banks;
  • More than 57,000 hot spots and devices to schools to assist with remote learning.

I believe these efforts are one reason why Arizona’s economy is in a stronger position than most a year and a half into the pandemic. Now, the county is putting new federal dollars to work through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Our goal is to distribute these funds in an equitable way across our community, with a focus on areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. We seek to ease the burden of individuals, families and businesses while strengthening our infrastructure and social safety net.

Priorities include:

  • Continued public health response, with dollars allocated to new health clinics and vaccine availability and education for all;
  • Affordable housing and home repairs as inexpensive housing is in short supply;
  • Workforce support;
  • Rent and mortgage assistance;
  • Homelessness prevention and mitigation;
  • Small and micro-sized business assistance;
  • Behavioral health and addiction recovery;
  • Services for seniors and people with disabilities;
  • Support for people impacted by domestic violence.

My view is that protecting the vulnerable and those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis is not just the right thing to do, it is our job. Governments can’t and shouldn’t do everything, but in this time of need, we have the resources to do more. We will use this money to improve lives, strengthen our services, and make Maricopa County a place where individuals, families, and businesses can thrive.

As part of that effort, we will be detailing how these funds are being spent each month via a website and data dashboard that is accessible to all residents. People will be able to see examples of our programs and services in action and the results we have delivered to date.

My colleagues and I are grateful for the recovery funds made available by Congress and we intend to use that money wisely.

Editor’s note: Jack Sellers is chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and represents county District 1.

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