The Boise City Council approved more than $34 million in federal recovery (American Rescue Plan funding) at Tuesday's meeting for Boise families hit hard by the pandemic. As promised in last week’s State of the City Address by Mayor Lauren McLean, the investments will create affordable homes, help people find childcare, allow the city to take bold climate action, help local small businesses continue their recovery, improve safety in our parks, and help the community with food insecurity and mental health care.
“The pandemic and recovery haven’t been the same for everyone. Now more than ever, we must support and care for all the people of Boise to ensure we’re truly a city for everyone,” said Boise Mayor Lauren McLean. “We have a once in a generation opportunity with these funds. That’s why we spent the second half of last year getting online feedback and having community meetings, to make sure we got it right. Which we did. These projects will help all Boiseans come together to tackle the biggest challenges we’re facing and allow us to create our shared vision of this city’s future, where everyone can thrive.”
THE APPROVED PROJECTS INCLUDE...
$12 million for Affordable Housing:
The mayor’s number one priority is ensuring there are homes for everyone. These funds will keep the city on track to meet its goals of creating 1,250 units of affordable housing for families earning 60% of the area median income and creating 250 new units of permanent supportive housing for families exiting homelessness.
$10 million for Climate Action:
The mayor understands that taking bold climate action, as outlined in Boise’s Climate Action Roadmap, will create a more resilient community and economy. These funds will help the city transition its buildings to clean energy, preserve and expand the use of surface water for irrigation, and allow the purchase of more renewable electricity in the future.
$2 million to Connect Our Parks
Boise is a very safe place to live, but the mayor is working to make it even safer. This project will install smart lighting systems, security cameras, and defibrillators in some of our biggest parks. These funds will also help people connect to financial and educational opportunities by wiring Ann Morrison Park, Julia Davis Park, and Cecil D. Andrus Park with public Wi-Fi hot spots, charging stations, internet access ports, and more.
Boise is giving American Rescue Plan funds directly to the community to help those who need it most.
THOSE PROJECTS INCLUDE…
$3.75 million for Childcare:
Mayor McLean is helping to find solutions to the affordable childcare shortage. This project will give immediate relief with incentive pay to childcare workers and providers. There will be more information about how people can apply this summer.
$2 million for Local Small Businesses:
The mayor knows that creating a new resilient economy means supporting our local small businesses. These funds will go directly to helping small businesses in the city and ensuring people who work there get a livable wage. Businesses can apply this summer/fall.
$1.5 million for Food Security:
Mayor McLean is helping families facing hunger. This project develops a local food system where a lead agency works with service providers. Non-profits can apply to take part this summer/fall.
$2 million for Mental Health:
The mayor is improving access to mental health, which has become a bigger issue for Boiseans after the pandemic. This project supports mental health providers and programs that target underserved and uninsured people, and it also grows group therapy opportunities. Non-profits and local providers are invited to apply.