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Housing, Health, Workforce Top Stimulus Spending Priorities For Hamilton County

Jeff Alutto, top right, during a meeting Wednesday, May 19.

Hamilton County officials plan to spend about half of $159 million in stimulus funding on the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, including $40 million on housing. A draft spending plan released Wednesday outlines the county's broad priorities.

The plan includes $37 million for county operations, like lost revenue, public safety payroll and EMA operations.

The $40 million set aside for housing includes $20 million for production, $10 million for preservation, $5 million for protection, and $5 million for mortgage assistance.

Commission Vice President Alicia Reece says a county-wide housing plan is in progress.

"So we'll be able to see everything, all of our 49 municipalities, and the impact of housing," Reece said. "And with these dollars we'll have some money set aside [for] what type of product is necessary."

Reece says rent assistance is not included in the ARPA plan because a separate pool of money will fund the next round of rent assistance in the county.

The draft plan includes a total $24 million to strengthen public health infrastructure, such as behavioral health, community resiliency and services to disproportionately impacted communities.

"As we address those health needs, we're working with our partners in public health and our partners in private health care institutions to make sure we are better set up for the potential next time that this may occur," said county Administrator Jeff Aluotto.

The Board of Commissioners will ultimately vote on all appropriations. 

Two virtual public hearings are scheduled for next week:

  • Tuesday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 27 at 1 p.m. (in the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Commissioners)

See a breakdown of the spending plan below, followed by a more detailed description:
$24 million to strengthen public health infrastructure

  • $6 million for emergent needs and long-term community resiliency
  • $8 million for behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse
  • $10 million for services to disproportionately impacted communities ($5 million for vulnerable community outreach,$5 million to relocate gun range)

$37 million to stabilize county finances/operations

  • $20 million revenue replacement
  • Capital improvements: $5 million facility improvements, $1.5 million satellite office
  • $5 million public safety payroll
  • $3 million premium pay
  • $1.5 million county staffing
  • $1 million EMA operations

$71 million to address negative economic impacts

  • $20 million for housing production
  • $10 million for housing preservation
  • $5 million for housing protection
  • $5 million for mortgage assistance
  • $15 million for workforce development (childcare, training, youth services)
  • $5 million for nonprofit assistance
  • $4 million for small and minority business enterprise back-office support
  • $3 million for small business assistance
  • $2 million for hospitality industry support
  • $2 million for arts and cultural assistance

$19 million for community infrastructure

  • $10 million for broadband
  • $9 million for sewer/stormwater

ARP Concept Plan Recommendation by WVXU News on Scribd

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.