Navigating Your ARPA Tech Project Before the 12/31/24 Deadline

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $350 billion in funding for state and local governments to aid in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes funds allocated for rebuilding public sector capacity, which encompasses technology infrastructure.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Deadline: Governments must obligate the funds by December 31, 2024 and spend them by December 31, 2026. Don’t miss out!
  • Eligible Uses: You can use ARPA funds to purchase technology to address negative economic impacts, including:
    • Rebuilding public sector capacity by rehiring staff or investing in data analysis and technology infrastructure.
    • Implementing economic relief programs through tools that manage applications and reports.
  • Multi-year contracts: ARPA funds allow for multi-year contracts, giving you peace of mind for your project’s future.

HCH Enterprises can help:

  • Navigate ARPA guidelines: We can help you understand the rules and ensure your technology project aligns with eligible uses.
  • Develop a strategic plan: We work with you to craft a plan that demonstrates how technology addresses your specific challenges.
  • Implement the solution: We offer expertise and resources to ensure successful implementation and continued support.

Additional Resources:

How other cities are using their ARPA spend on technology

The National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, and Brookings Institution’s Brookings Metro program have teamed up to create an interactive dashboard that tracks how 152 municipalities are using this relief money. The dashboard allows you to see how cities are investing in a variety of areas, including funding for improving broadband internet access, cybersecurity measures, and tools to help government employees work remotely.

Don’t let this valuable opportunity pass by! Contact HCH today to discuss how we can help your organization leverage ARPA funds for technology solutions.

Reducing Housing Insecurity + Homelessness

Housing equity is the fair and just distribution of housing opportunities and outcomes for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or other protected characteristics. In the United States, achieving housing equity has been a challenging journey, with minority households disproportionately experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness.

To address the issue of housing equity in their communities, cities and towns have made the following breakthroughs: 

  • Increase the supply of affordable housing. This can be done through various strategies, such as inclusionary zoning, which requires developers to set aside a percentage of units in new developments for affordable housing, and by creating or expanding housing trust funds, which provide financial assistance to developers to build and preserve affordable housing.
  • Protect tenants from eviction. This can be done through enacting rent control measures, expanding access to legal aid for tenants facing eviction, and creating eviction diversion programs.
  • Invest in community development programs. These programs can help to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods and make them more attractive places to live. This can include investments in parks, schools, libraries, and other public amenities.
  • Address the root causes of housing insecurity — poverty, unemployment, and discrimination. By addressing these underlying issues, cities and towns can help ensure everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

What other cities are doing to address housing equity?

  • Boston, Massachusetts, made history by becoming the inaugural major U.S. city to enact a fair housing amendment within its zoning code. This groundbreaking amendment mandates that prospective developments assess their potential impacts on residents who have historically faced discrimination. This proactive measure enables the implementation of strategies aimed at mitigating such effects, creating fresh housing prospects, and rectifying legacies of exclusion.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, has enacted a citywide inclusionary zoning ordinance that requires developers to set aside 20% of units in new developments for affordable housing.
  • Denver, Colorado, has created a housing trust fund that has helped to finance the construction or preservation of over 10,000 affordable housing units.
  • Seattle, Washington, has implemented a rent control ordinance that caps annual rent increases at 3%.
  • New York City has created an eviction diversion program that helps tenants facing eviction to stay in their homes.
  • San Francisco, California, has invested heavily in community development programs in low-income neighborhoods.
affordable housing unit

Housing equity programs 

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is a federal program that provides funding to local communities to support a range of housing and supportive services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The CoC Program is designed to serve people experiencing homelessness at all points on the spectrum, from those who are living on the streets to those who are transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.

The Built for Zero movement is a national initiative to end chronic homelessness. Built for Zero communities are working to coordinate their efforts to identify and address the root causes of homelessness, such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to healthcare.

Cities and towns can use the CoC Program and the Built for Zero movement to help address housing equity in their communities. By coordinating their efforts and focusing on the root causes of homelessness, municipalities can make significant progress in ensuring everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Here are a few specific ways that cities and towns can use the CoC Program and the Built for Zero movement to address housing equity:

  • Use CoC Program funding to support affordable housing development and preservation.
  • Implement Built for Zero principles to coordinate efforts to identify and address the root causes of homelessness.
  • Use data to track progress and identify areas where additional resources are needed.
  • Engage with community members and stakeholders to ensure that housing equity is a priority.

By taking these steps, cities and towns can help to create more equitable communities where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live.

Grant Opportunity: Connect Your Community

By Chelsea Levesque, Director, Marketing and Communications, HCH Enterprises

In a groundbreaking move, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program has allocated a staggering $42.45 billion in grants to states, the District of Columbia, and territories. This monumental investment, a key component of the “Investing in America” agenda put forth by the Biden-Harris Administration, aims to provide affordable and reliable high-speed internet access to every American. By bridging the digital divide, this initiative, aptly named “Internet for All,” will reshape our digital landscape, unlocking new opportunities and enhancing competitiveness on a nationwide scale.

Today, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity, indispensable for work, education, and healthcare. The “Internet for All” program will enable communities to connect, fostering economic growth and empowering individuals across the country.

Through the allocation of funds, states, the District of Columbia, and territories can establish grant programs specifically designed to deploy or upgrade broadband networks. This critical step ensures that affordable and dependable internet service becomes accessible to everyone.

For comprehensive information on funding allocations tailored to each state, as well as further details on the Biden Administration’s high-speed internet portfolio, we invite you to visit InternetForAll.gov. Stay tuned for the formal allocation notice, which Eligible Entities will receive on June 30, 2023.

At HCH, we are proud to be a part of this transformative initiative. Our organization champions equity and facilitates the grant process for communities. From acquisition to disbursement, we are dedicated to unlocking the full potential of our nation through the power of high-speed internet.

Join us on this journey as we pave the way towards a more connected and inclusive America. Together, we can harness the transformative power of high-speed internet, bringing us closer to a future where opportunities know no bounds.

#InternetForAll #NTIA #InvestingInAmerica #BroadbandEquity #PublicSectorConsulting #ConstituentsFirst #GrantHelp

Building Inclusive Government Policies: A Roadmap to Equity

Leaders in Government and Critical Infrastructure

Today, we would like to explore how government leaders can champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as foundational principles in their decision-making processes. By prioritizing these principles, leaders can create policies that better reflect the needs of all people and build trust among their constituents.

Diversity

Inclusion and representation from various backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, abilities, etc.

Equity

Fairness, ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of their background.

Inclusion

Creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and has a voice in decision-making processes.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

ERGs stand as valuable assets in cultivating inclusive and equitable work environments and communities. They provide a platform for underrepresented employees to connect, gain insights, and advocate for their needs.

ERGs play a pivotal role in DEI initiatives:

Fostering Inclusion: ERGs promote belonging and authenticity among employees, increasing visibility for underrepresented groups and fostering acceptance.

Improving Diversity: ERGs actively participate in talent attraction, showcasing organizations as welcoming communities and communicating the needs of underrepresented groups to leadership.

Promoting External Impact: ERGs assist in recruiting diverse talent pools, diversifying the workforce, and participating in government-led talent attraction events.

Training

Training acts as a catalyst for creating inclusive and equitable environments, addressing individual and institutional aspects.

Key aspects of training in government:

Mitigating Implicit Biases: Training empowers employees to recognize and mitigate unconscious biases in decision-making.

Ongoing Education and Awareness: Training programs keep employees updated on DEI best practices and emerging issues, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Interpersonal Relationship Building: Training addresses attitudes, stereotypes, and microaggressions, promoting a respectful workplace.

Institutional Transformation: Training empowers core groups to champion equity initiatives and addresses institutional and structural racism.

Community Engagement

Building connections with diverse community organizations and stakeholders provides invaluable insights into the unique needs and concerns of various populations.

Community engagement is essential for:

Building Relationships and Understanding: Engaging with diverse stakeholders informs policies that truly serve and represent communities.

Enhancing Trust and Transparency: Active listening and collaboration foster trust between government and constituents.

Inclusive Decision-Making: Involving stakeholders in discussions ensures fair and equitable policies.

Effective Service Delivery: Understanding community needs allows for more efficient and equitable service allocation.

Conflict Resolution and Prevention: Open communication helps address issues proactively.

Promoting Civic Participation: Engaging the public encourages active participation in local governance.

State Government Examples

Rhode Island (RI) is known for its community-focused racial justice initiatives, including DEI task forces, diversity celebrations, outreach strategies, criminal justice reform, and leadership pipelines.

Community-focused racial justice initiatives include: 

Transparency

Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability are vital in DEI efforts, driving trust, progress measurement, and positive examples.

Public Trust: Openly sharing DEI goals and progress builds trust with the public.

Stakeholder Engagement: Involving the public and organizations invites collaboration and feedback.

Positive Example: Prioritizing transparency sets an example for other organizations.

The journey towards inclusive government policies involves breaking down barriers, embracing diversity, and promoting fairness at all levels. By implementing ERGs, training, community engagement, and transparency, leaders in government and critical infrastructure can forge a more equitable future for all.

Contributors:

Kathryn Peterson, Technical Writer

Chelsea Levesque, Director, Marketing

References:

Gain a comprehensive grasp of effective grant writing and management, along with a deep appreciation for the pivotal role of broadband connectivity, through our enlightening webinar. Designed for professionals in both public and private sectors, this engaging session aims to enhance your knowledge and confidence in navigating the intricacies of grants while fostering the well-being of all communities.

Our interactive webinar delves into the fundamental elements of excelling in grant applications, navigating grant administration, and harnessing the transformative potential of broadband access for community advancement. Whether you’re a dedicated government official, a passionate nonprofit leader, or a knowledgeable private sector consultant, this informative webinar equips you with the essential insights to drive tangible impact within your community and professional sphere.

Webinar Highlights:
– Unveiling the Importance of Grants in Fostering Community Growth
– Exploring the multifaceted benefits of grant funding for nurturing vibrant community development projects
– Real-world case studies illuminating successful, grant-supported projects
– Crafting an Effective Grant Proposal: The Basics
– Navigating Optimal Grant Management Strategies
– Showcasing Achievements of Grant-Supported Broadband Initiatives
– Engaging Q&A Session to Address Your Inquiries

Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to enhance your grant writing skills, gain insightful perspectives on streamlined grant management tactics, and recognize the life-changing potential of broadband connectivity for diverse communities. Secure your spot today and actively contribute to our mission of empowering communities and fostering sustainable progress.

Register now to embark on a journey towards understanding community empowerment and facilitating enduring growth!


Register Here