The Maricopa County board of supervisors approved spending priorities for $435 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds available to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress, according to a news release from the county.

The ARPA funds are meant to help communities address public health and economic recovery needs related to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Maricopa County took immediate and aggressive action to ease the pain of our citizens during the worst of the pandemic. Now, using ARPA money, we will build on the experience we have implementing targeted, successful assistance programs to support small-business owners, seniors and persons with disabilities, folks struggling to get a job or pay bills, and people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Maricopa County board chair Jack Sellers, who represents District 1, in a news release. “How we treat and respond to these members of our community not only says a lot about who we are as public servants, but will also determine the speed and extent to which Maricopa County can bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Under the plan approved by the board, the county will allocate funds to key recovery efforts.

$136 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19

To support the county's vaccination effort, Maricopa County has purchased vehicles that will allow Maricopa County Public Health to take mobile COVID-19 vaccinations to hard-to-reach populations. The ARPA funds are also being used for a vaccination campaign that seeks to get facts to people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated. In addition, the ARPA funds will be used to establish two new public health clinics—one in the Southwest Valley and one in the East Valley—which will provide an array of services including COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the release.

$60 million for business support

The county will continue its effort to help small businesses keep their doors open and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world through a combination of grants, loans and technical assistance, according to the release. The focus will be on small and micro businesses, according to the release.

$40 million for housing

Maricopa County is looking to to make an impact on the rising cost of housing across the county by investing $30 million to develop and support affordable housing in the region. Funds will also be available to support home repairs for families in need, according to the release.

$25 million for workforce support

ARPA-funded initiatives include job assistance for justice-involved individuals and support for people on unemployment insurance as they transition to self-sufficiency, according to the release.

$20 million for rent and mortgage assistance

Eviction prevention remains a priority of the board, according to the release. To keep people in their homes, the county is continuing to fund short-term rent and mortgage payments for families in need as well as longer-term case management to help people be self-sufficient, according to the release.

Additional areas of focus for the county's ARPA dollars, according to the release, are:

  • $23.5 million for services related to behavioral health and addiction recovery;

  • $15 million to support seniors and persons with disabilities;

  • $15 million to support people impacted by domestic violence; and

  • $12 million to address issues related to homelessness.