More than a year after the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law, RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund is curious how this progressive policy is landing in local communities. We analyzed ARPA allocations in Ohio to answer the question: how is this progressive policy impacting real people in Ohio? This is the second blog post in the series, detailing ARPA allocations and spending; here, we are exploring the new Ohio Congressional District 1.
Nearly $900 million in ARPA funds have been obligated to Warren and Hamilton Counties in Ohio Congressional District 1. For the 1st district in the Southwest part of the state, encompassing three-quarters of Cincinnati and all of Warren County, these funds have meant local budget balancing, education investments, restaurant revitalization, transportation investments, rent assistance, and more.
The table above details the top funded federal programs in Ohio CD1.
- The biggest portion (56%) went directly to State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. As with most local communities, Warren county has designated these flexible funds for budget shortfalls in local governments and to fund local grant programs.
- As is true around the country, education stabilization makes up the second biggest spending bucket in CD1.
- Where some communities saw rental assistance far down their list, this category was the 5th largest spending bucket in Ohio’s first congressional district. It represented about 3% of ARPA allocations.
Example Projects in Ohio Congressional District 1 Funded by ARPA:
- Warren County (allocated $66 million)
- The City of Lebanon was granted $539,089 for Head Start.
- Warren County approved the use of ARPA funds for the Workforce Stabilization Scholarship Program, also known as the Child Care Stabilization Grant, which awards scholarships for families to cover child care costs if the parents are not in the workforce but trying to enter it and for those parents already in the workforce and cost burdened by child care. Warren County Commissioners approved the program to move forward with 300 scholarships.
- The County approved ARPA dollars for revenue loss to the county itself as well as several other organizations, including individual nonprofits such as Camp Joy, Warren County Agriculture Society, Cincinnati Scenic Railroad, and the Warren County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
- Investments in travel and tourism included projects to upgrade several parks and facilities, like Armco Park and the Warren County Fairgrounds Event Center, along with a proposal for a new multipurpose entertainment venue at the Towne Mall Galleria.
- Hamilton County (allocated $804 million, $158.7 million directed to the county)
- The County approved a plan for ARPA spending categories in late 2021. The county has developed a dashboard for tracking impacts.
- So far, ARPA rental and mortgage assistance has reached 5,935 households amounting to $22,139,296.
- Community relief totals to date: $5.5 million for 80 schools and school districts, $1.95 million for 53 Arts & Culture organizations, $24 million for local government investments, $3.4 million for 63 organizations.
- Small business relief totals to date: 1406 businesses funded totaling $14 million. Proportionally, 50% were minority owned, 49% were women owned, and 30% were minority & women owned.
If you would like to look up any of the over 18,000 individual ARPA funded projects in Ohio, you can download the data yourself using the “Advanced Search” at USASpending.gov. Feel free to reach out to Annie Contractor at [email protected] for support.