Lancaster ARPA Funds Program Launches September 6
LANCASTER – The Lancaster City Council voted unanimously earlier this week on an agenda item to approve a resolution detailing how the city’s Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) with funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) will be distributed.
The terms were to engage in professional services between the City of Lancaster and Catholic Charities of Dallas for the purpose of administering these funds.
In October 2021, Lancaster City Council discussed eligible projects for funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Lancaster City Manager Opal Mauldin-Jones explained, “ARPA provides funding to local governments to broadly respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The City of Lancaster’s allocation is $9,720,147.20 divided into two equal transactions of $4,860,073.60.”
Lancaster received its first payment of $4,860,073.60 last month. The second payment is due a year later.
Mauldin-Jones explained how the funds will be used and said, “The City Council allocated funds to provide relief to the residents of Lancaster through a mortgage, internet and utility assistance program.”
The Lancaster City Council has allocated $250,000 for an Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, $144,000 for Internet Bill Assistance and $480,000 for Electricity Bill Assistance.
Catholic Charities of Dallas Will Administer Funds
The program will be administered by Catholic Charities of Dallas. According to Mauldin-Jones Catholic Charities meets the federal requirements to administer an Emergency Assistance Funding Program (EAP) and have worked with other cities to administer similar programs.
“Of the agencies staff has researched Catholic Charities meets the federal requirements and have the expertise to properly administer the funds and account for the funds,” Mauldin-Jones said.
Catholic Charities will receive a fee from the city for administering the program and will go live on September 6, 2022, for the program’s implementation. Eligibility will begin that day as well.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have a timeframe of five years with an ending date of December 2026 to administer funds.
“If we see by December no one is taking advantage of those funds we will already have paid Catholic Charities the fee, and that fee is just that fee, but we can re-allocate the remainder of our dollars to another project,” Mauldin-Jones concluded.