The pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color which experienced high rates of transmission, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. Many of the hardest-hit neighborhoods have a high percentage of other health and socioeconomic disparities. Programs in this category strive to build stronger communities through various neighborhood investments.
Family Assistance Resource Program
This program is providing 1,000 families with children a $1,000 per month financial assistance grant for 12 months. Eligible households include Emergency Rental Assistance applicants, residents of City-owned public housing properties, and Section 8 voucher holders. Selection occurred via a lottery system.
Many households experienced a loss of income or a job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program's objective is to provide monthly assistance to help families stay in their homes, maintain current employment, and provide childcare assistance. All families experienced a negative economic impact as a result of the pandemic as they previously qualified for emergency rental assistance, reside in public housing, or receive a Section 8 voucher.
Financial Assistance for Phoenix Refugee and Asylee Community
Funds will be used to support nonprofit agencies serving the refugee and asylee community.
Families enter the United States with little to no resources and need assistance navigating their new community. The pandemic exacerbated this need as social services were limited in 2020. The goals of the program are to assist residents who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with services to find employment, temporary housing, and resources for medical care.
Residential Tree Equity Accelerator & Trees and Shade for Schools
Fund Residential Tree Equity Accelerator to triple the tree canopy coverage and create paid Community Forester opportunities in 15 neighborhoods with very low tree equity scores. Additionally, fund tree planting and installation of shade structures at 75 schools/preschools in qualifying neighborhoods in partnership with tree-focused community-based organizations.
Airport Childcare Facility
The department will utilize $4 million to allocate funds to provide vouchers to airport employees for use at childcare facilities. There is a current assessment of the Aviation Annex at 3430 E. Sky Harbor Blvd in Terminal 3 to review if it is a potential site for a childcare facility. Based on the assessment, up to $1 million will be used in facility upgrades.
Airport employees struggling to pay for childcare services will receive a scholarship to use at a local childcare facility. Applicants will need to meet the household income criteria to be considered eligible. Many families struggled to balance both employment and childcare needs during the pandemic and this program aims to increase access to childcare, increase stability of care, and increase employment retainment for applicants.
Edison Impact Hub
Funds will be used to retrofit the historic children’s hospital from a vacant, dilapidated building to a community services center that will provide medical offices and other services to the community.
Home Weatherization Assistance Program
Expand Home Weatherization Assistance Program to assist up to 200 additional homes in qualifying neighborhoods to receive energy efficiency enhancements and related housing repairs.
Fund 25 free-standing shade structures in the public right-of-way to improve walkability in neighborhoods with limited shade coverage. Commission local artists to design structures that reflect local context and culture and meet engineering and safety standards for public infrastructure.
Phoenix Parks Improvements
Improve Phoenix parks in three main areas:
• Incorporate new and/or adaptive playground elements and features to new and existing playgrounds where feasible to increase accessibility to outdoor play for youth with all abilities.
• Resurface, renovate and/or convert athletic courts in eight parks with underutilized courts and/or parks experiencing negative activity to help further activate the park with meaningful recreational opportunities for youth.
• Install additional WalkPHX paths and fitness stations at eight parks to increase accessibility to free fitness equipment and opportunities.
After-School Grant for Phoenix Schools
Funds will be available for school districts and charter schools who commit to providing free or affordable after-school programs in-line with the Phoenix After-School Center (PAC) program. Schools are located in Qualified Census Tracts and will assist students who have experienced negative economic impacts as a result of the pandemic. The goal of the program is to increase access to school services and childcare services for families.
Area Agency on Aging’s Goods2HOME
Funds continue to support the Area of Agency on Aging’s Goods2HOME program which the City supported with CARES Act funds in 2020. This program delivers critical medication, sanitation, and nutrition supplies to low-income, disabled, and homebound seniors.
Memory Café Program
Funds expand the City’s Memory Café program for senior center members and their caregivers. Memory Cafes stimulate participants through music therapy, art and memory exercises, and are a key contributor to the Dementia Friendly City initiative.
Vacant Storefront Improvement Assistance
Provide financial assistance to retail/commercial building owners in qualified census tracts to maintain and enhance exterior of properties, such as building façade, landscaping, signage, parking lot or sidewalk repairs, etc. Additionally, coordinate facility assessments of vacant City-owned property to support reuse efforts.
Bus Card Subsidy
Funds provide subsidies and fare assistance to residents that rely on public transportation. Various nonprofits have been provided a number of passes to provide to low-income families in need at a number of locations throughout the City. Passes are providing access to employment, child care, medical services, grocery stores, and more.
Bus Stop Shelters
As part of the T2050 plan, the Public Transit Department has a goal of installing 80 new bus shelters per year. This additional funds will increase this goal to 100 shelters per year over the next two years. Bus shelters play a role in improving neighborhood livability and sustainability. Bus shelters will be placed in locations currently without shade and provide heat relief to transit users who reside in Qualified Census Tracts. This contract begins July 1, 2022.
Youth Sports League Grants
Funds will be used to offer financial assistance or stipends to at-risk, underserved, and low- income youth to participate in youth sports and recreational leagues. At the height of the pandemic, recreational leagues were closed and low-income families continued to struggle to pay for recreation leagues for their children. This program strives to increase access to recreation programs and increase physical activity for youth.
For more information, please visit the Parks and Recreation ARPA website.
Heat Relief Program
Phoenix’s Office of Heat Response and Mitigation (OHRM) is leading the efforts of the hottest large city in the United States to fight the growing hazard of urban heat. As of April 3, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health had confirmed 424 heat-associated deaths for 2022, with a limited number of additional cases pending further review. The program provides heat relief supplies, shares information about community cooling resources, and helps connect residents to social services, especially in areas where heat-related health challenges occur more frequently. To expand the reach of heat relief outreach efforts across the City of Phoenix, OHRM received council authorization to use $450,000 in ARPA funds to develop a heat relief grant program for community non-profits.