The Boise City Council approved a federal recovery (American Rescue Plan funding), mentioned in Mayor McClean’s State of the City Address on May 24th. As the mayor promised, the funds seek to aid Boise families and business owners that were hit hard financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be used to create affordable housing, childcare, progress climate initiatives, assist small local businesses, improve the safety of popular city parks, and give support to those facing food insecurity and mental health difficulties.
“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.”
This historic and considerable funding will go to the following projects:
- $12 million for Affordable Housing - 1,250 new affordable housing units will be built to house Boiseans making 60% of the area's median income, along with 250 of permanent supportive housing for families who experience homelessness.
- $10 million for Climate Action - to help reach the city's goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, these funds will help convert certain buildings to running on clean energy, preserve and expand Boise’s surface water which is used in irrigation, and purchase renewable energy in the future.
- $2 million for Connect our Parks - Boise’s biggest parks will see an upgrade in smart lighting, security cameras, and defibrillators being installed. Ann Morrison Park, Julia Davis Park, and Cecil D. Andrus will also have public wifi, charging stations, internet access ports wired into them for the community to use freely.
And the additional money is going to projects funded by the American Recovery Plan approved by Boise:
- $3.75 million for Childcare - to help ease the affordable childcare shortage, these funds will give incentive pay to childcare workers and providers. More information on how to apply will be released this summer.
- $2 million for Local Small Businesses - Small businesses facing financial hardship from the global pandemic can apply for the funding this summer and fall to help ensure the employees are paid a livable wage.
- $1.5 million for Food Security - A local food system with a leading agency behind it will work with local service providers to connect families and people facing hunger with the sustenance they need.
- $2 million for Mental Health - Mental health has become a larger problem after the pandemic, and these funds will help Boiseans find the treatment they need. Providers of mental health services and programs can apply this summer and fall, and the project seeks to give support to the underserved, uninsured, and those in need of group therapy.
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