The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed by Congress in March 2021 to provide additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) can be directed by the jurisdiction receiving the funds so funds can best serve local communities. For information about the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, visit the US Treasury website.
In March of 2021, Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved guidelines for how the money should be spent, as described in the Judge's Letter. Harris County received $915 million in ARPA funding from the US Treasury, which must be committed by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.
Harris County Commissioners Court set out clear priorities for the use of these funds: Health, Housing, Jobs & Education, Justice & Safety, and County Operations.
Commissioners Court also adopted an Equity Framework to guide project selection, design, implementation, and evaluation. The Equity Framework calls for investments to be made fairly, considering who has been most impacted by the pandemic, with community member engagement throughout all project phases.