The City of Portland reached two milestones this month in investing American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new Rescue Plan open data portal launched, allowing community members to track how Portland is spending its first installment of $104 million in federal relief — just as the City Council approved allocations for the second installment, also $104 million.
The City of Portland was awarded $208 million across two installments, the first arriving in 2021 and the second this year.
Across both investment packages, City leaders prioritized Portland’s most urgent needs: housing stability and homeless services, business revitalization, community health and safety, and replacing lost revenue to ensure important City programs and services continue.
The Round 2 investments will support continued work on the Safe Rest Villages project, gun violence prevention programs, affordable housing development and preservation, and a variety of programs to support local businesses and neighborhood business districts.
The American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March 2021, includes $350 billion in grants for state, local, tribal and territorial governments to support relief from public health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Recipients can also use the funds to replace government revenue lost to the pandemic, invest in certain infrastructure projects and provide premium pay for essential workers.
City leaders last year identified four primary categories for the first allocation of Rescue Plan funds, contributing to dozens of new and existing programs to support local businesses and business districts, keep Portlanders in their homes, create safe and welcoming gather spaces for community to reconnect, and support people experiencing homelessness with safer shelter options.
- Household Stabilization, $45,500,000
- Business & Commercial District Stabilization, $12,839,931
- Community Health and Safety, $8,805,000
- Program Delivery/Revenue Loss, $36,802,756
Following the final approval of funding allocations last July, project teams partnered with the central Rescue Plan delivery team to review their project design through a Results-Based Accountability lens, create implementation strategies, establish contracts and partner agreements, and develop reporting measures to track progress and impact.
Today, through the Rescue Plan open data portal, Portlanders and policymakers alike can begin to access project data and better understand the progress and impact of these projects.
The data portal includes spatial and demographic information about who and where Rescue Plan investments are helping, the partners who are helping to implement projects — and how projects are advancing equity outcomes.
As of March 31, 2022 Rescue Plan investments have served:
- 1,510 individual recipients
- 80% individual recipients identifying as Black, Indigenous and People of Color
- 24 nonprofit partners
- 51% non-profit partner board and staff identifying as Black, Indigenous and People of Color
- 15 business partners
- 40% business partners (those helping to implement Rescue Plan projects) with owners who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color
The next Rescue Plan open data portal update will provide summaries, graphs and maps about spending, recipients, partners and services through June 30, 2022.
“I applaud the transparency that the new open data portal provides the public,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Accessing this data will allow us to make better-informed decisions for the community these investments serve.”
Round two allocations were made as part of the City’s annual budget process, building on earlier investments with already familiar City priorities: community safety, economic stabilization and recovery, houselessness crisis and livability.