City Announces CARES Act Funding
Dollars will be split into three categories to best serve needs of community
[Columbus, OH] Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, along with City Council President Shannon G. Hardin and Councilmember Shayla Favor, announced that the city of Columbus has received $157 million in federal funds from the CARES Act to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our city and our residents have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. The City has spent significant money on COVID-related efforts including homelessness and food insecurity, as well as overtime for police, fire and public health. At the same time, our revenues to provide core city services are down because of high unemployment,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We will be using these new funds prudently to best address the community impact of COVID-19.”
The CARES Act funding must be used for expenditures necessary to address public health issues due to COVID-19 and cannot be used to replace revenue. Funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2020. Columbus will divide funds into three categories to best serve the needs of the residents:
- $80 million for direct spending for COVID-19 expenses such as medical expenses for testing, EMS response, personal protective equipment (or PPE)
- $51 million for human services such as shelter for those experiencing homelessness, food and rental assistance
- $26 million for economic impact such as small business assistance and technology for teleworking
Columbus City Council will vote on Monday to accept and appropriate the funds.
"The needs facing families, unemployed workers and small businesses are real and immediate, and City Council is proud to work with Mayor Ginther and community agencies to use these CARES funds for those impacted by the pandemic," said Council President Hardin. "We are committed to support for the new needs caused by COVID-19 in the short and long-term as the world transitions during this crisis, and our priority must be on putting families and small businesses first."
Councilmember Shayla Favor announced that Council will vote on Monday on $3 million for a Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program to provide urgent relief to those residents struggling to stay in their homes.
“The economic and financial impact of COVID-19 on Columbus families has been devastating, leaving many unemployed and without the ability to pay rent,” said Councilmember Favor, Chair of the Housing Committee. “By providing direct rental assistance to those in need, we are helping to stabilize families and keep them housed, not only preventing an onslaught of evictions, but helping to ease the burden on our shelter system.”
Impact Community Action has been selected to directly distribute the rental assistance dollars to those impacted by COVID-19 and to other partners that already have rental assistance programs including Columbus Urban League, COMPASS, COAAA and Physicians Care Connection.
Mayor Ginther also announced the formation of a Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Group to help Columbus bounce back from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and prepare for the next crisis. Members of the advisory board will be finalized in the coming weeks.