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City Council votes to put ARPA funds towards housing program, transit, and EDI initiatives

1 Jun 2023 9:22 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

City of Eau Claire

The Eau Claire city council has allocated American Rescue Plan funds for several different initiatives in phase two, including to address affordable housing and transit issues.

Council approved $675,000 towards the community pass pilot program. Its goal is to help the city's public transit system bounce back from a reduction in ridership and allow more people to afford rides on city buses.

They also voted yes to allocating $350,000 to a fund that would provide lower income residents a path to home ownership, as well as funding a downtown street ambassador program and community development corporation.

"It would be kind of similar to the community foundation where we would provide some seed money, look to private donations to match that, and then look to grow it over coming years, and then that money would be used in different aspects for affordable housing," said city of Eau Claire project manager Billie Hufford. 

They also approved setting aside roughly $87,000 in total for several equity, diversity, and inclusion projects. These include the creation of a BIPOC steering committee, having EDI focus groups, and bringing in a consultant to help create an EDI plan for the city and the community.

As we reported, the city also approved putting $500,000 toward a new daytime homeless shelter in the city. 

ARPA funds is money from the federal government given to help people economically bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was passed by Congress in 2021.

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