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Mayor Durkan, Council President González and Chair Mosqueda Launch ‘Seattle Rescue Plan’

American Recovery Act funding prioritizes homelessness, small businesses, direct assistance to workers and families, community health and equity

Seattle, WA — On Thursday Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, together with Council President M. Lorena González and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, announced the “Seattle Rescue Plan”, a $128.4 million package in federal recovery funds to aid Seattle’s recovery from the pandemic and COVID-related economic impacts.

On June 1, 2021, the City Council will introduce legislation to authorize spending $116 million in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery funds in direct aid provided from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as well as $12.2 million of HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds. In addition, the City expects to receive more targeted funding from the American Rescue Plan Act this Summer as well as an additional $116 million in flexible funds in May 2022. 

Budget Chair Mosqueda, Council President González and Mayor Durkan crafted this legislation to respond to the most pressing needs facing Seattle. The proposed investments are informed by and are a reflection of shared priorities of the Mayor and the Council, as represented in Council Resolution 31999, which was adopted in March of this year to guide the City’s investment of ARPA funds.

In April, the City passed a nearly $18 million COVID Relief package that focused on health, food and families, following deliberations in Councilmember Mosqueda’s Finance and Housing Committee.  These funds, combined with the $128.4M in American Rescue Plan Act Funding, are integral to Seattle’s recovery from the social, public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. 

“We’re quickly approaching our city’s bold goals to fully vaccinate more than 70% of our eligible residents, which is critical to safely reopening and building a robust and long term recovery. In the coming months, all our efforts will be focused on economic recovery of our businesses, supporting neighborhoods across Seattle, and addressing the needs of those living unhoused. Working together, we are delivering an ambitious plan to kick start Seattle’s recovery with direct aid to families and small businesses, support for Seattle Promise students, and major investments in shelter and housing to help 750 households experiencing homelessness move into safer spaces and permanent housing,” said Seattle Mayor Durkan. 

“Relief is on the way with American Rescue Plan Act funds to help our City respond to the immense needs for Seattle’s recovery,” Council President González said. “City Hall has worked together to develop a proposal that is responsive and flexible to Seattle’s immediate needs while planting seeds for our long-term recovery. We have a rare opportunity to directly invest federal funds in resources like permanent affordable housing and childcare, while revitalizing our commercial districts and public spaces to be more inclusive, welcoming, and accessible for residents, workers, and businesses. Together, we are building a more equitable and sustainable Seattle.”

“Our City is facing incredible needs and incredible opportunities.  We’re in a position with one-time funds to invest in the most pressing issues that help us house our neighbors and build equitable economic recovery. In partnership with hundreds of stakeholder organizations and listening to Seattleites who testified and wrote in with comment, with Council President González and the Mayor’s office, the ARPA bill we are rolling out centers big investments in what our city truly needs: pathways to housing and greater housing stability, direct assistance to small businesses, workers and our most vulnerable, and funding to set us in a path toward a more equitable economic recovery,” Councilmember Mosqueda said.

The Seattle Rescue Plan supports investment in distinct categories, and include but are not limited to the following selected highlights:

  • Community Recovery – TOTAL: $23M for Small Businesses and Neighborhood and Downtown Recovery ($22M); and, Job Training ($1M) 
  • Community Well-being – TOTAL:  $41.5M for Community Assistance for a trauma-informed response ($35.1M); and, Digital Equity ($800,000); Reopening City Services – ($1.1M); plus, Youth Equity and Opportunity ($4.5M)
  • Housing and Homelessness – TOTAL: $49.2 M for investments in permanent affordable housing, diversion, and rapid housing($36.5M), and resources for emergency housing, shelter and services ($12.7M).
  • Community Assistance & Programming – TOTAL:  $7M for needs ranging from Healthy Streets/Safe Starts permits and programming and child care services to evaluations and support 
  • Supporting City Services and Workers – TOTAL: $7.6M for upgrading technology ($6M ); and, support for returning workers ($1.6M) 

The Council and the Mayor will continue discussions on how to allocate funding the City will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLRF) in 2022 and other targeted aid that will come to the City. Additional budget legislation will be considered later this summer to accept and authorize spending $7.4 million of targeted ARPA funds to support seniors and $28.7 million of targeted aid for rental assistance programs.