Harnessing Federal Funds for Inclusive Recovery in Rochester, NY

Brief

Harnessing Federal Funds for Inclusive Recovery in Rochester, NY

Abstract

Rochester, NY has a once in a generation opportunity to invest the influx of funding coming through recent federal legislation towards an equitable and inclusive recovery. Ranking 241st out of 274 cities on overall inclusion before the pandemic, Rochester is a city where these funds have the potential to make a particularly tangible impact. Recovering inclusively entails overcoming economic and societal stress in ways that provide opportunities for all residents, but especially those who have been historically excluded, to benefit from and contribute to economic growth. Currently totaling over $800 million, funds coming through ARPA, CRRSAA, and CARES can be used by the city of Rochester, Monroe County, and the Rochester City School District to address long-held patterns of inequity. Many of the prescribed uses for federal funds include policy areas that can promote inclusive recovery, including K-12 education, transportation, infrastructure, and housing. Significant flexible funds are also included, allowing Rochester to pursue economic, workforce, and community development goals. The Mayor’s Office has developed a preliminary plan for its spending of ARPA funds called the Strategic Equity and Recovery Plan (SERP). Featuring several innovative policies, such as a guaranteed basic income pilot and a housing trust fund, SERP’s intention is to foster a more equitable and resilient Rochester. As the city’s governing bodies continue to determine how to use these funds, equity must be centered for Rochester to recover inclusively.

Cross-Center Initiative

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