Systematically Deploying Federal Funds to Combat Racial Inequities
The City of Kansas City, Missouri (KC) has experienced immense growth over the last decade. However, the Covid-19 pandemic now threatens this advancement, leaving KC’s low-income and Black residents particularly vulnerable to both the economic and health fallouts of the crisis. With this in mind, City leaders have, and are, taking bold steps to maintain progress toward economic security, public health, and racial justice for KC. With the first infusion of federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, KC allocated $1M in emergency rental, rapid rehousing, utility, and nutrition assistance to low-income households; and allocated $1.5 million to provide grants of up to $50,000 to support small businesses throughout KC. Now, KC has received and distributed roughly half of the $195M in local federal relief from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), utilizing these funds to launch transformative and innovative programs such as the Housing Trust Fund.
With roughly $97.5M in direct ARPA funding to still distribute and $2.7B from the State of Missouri expected to be distributed in early 2022, KC is preparing to maximize the city’s capacity to deploy these funds equitably. FUSE will partner with KC to guide the city’s distribution of this second tranche of ARPA funds, launching and scaling programs that will accelerate recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and reduce disparities in outcomes for the Black KC residents hit hardest by the pandemic. FUSE will primarily work to build the city’s capacity for pursuing grant funding opportunities, securing and utilizing match resources to scale the newly established Housing Trust Fund, among other ongoing initiatives.