American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
News: County staff are working on hiring new staff to help implement the approved ARPA projects. We will keep you posted on this and other updates with the new ARPA newsletter.

Please visit or share the Boulder County Careers website to learn more about these opportunities.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

What is the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is the latest in a series of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related relief and economic stimulus legislation. ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds help build economic capabilities for state, local, territorial, and tribal government agencies to meet pandemic response needs, address the negative economic impacts, and build a strong and equitable recovery from this public health crisis. With this federal aid, jurisdictions have been able to strengthen and support vital public services put at risk by or needed because of the pandemic.

How Do ARPA Funds Impact Boulder County?

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law. As part of ARPA, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) was established to address certain impacts from the pandemic. Boulder County was allocated $63,359,749.

States, territories, counties, and cities with populations of 250,000 or more are required to publicly post and submit annual Recovery Plan Performance Report to the Treasury Department by July 31st of each year. The plan focuses on pandemic efforts to date and how Boulder County’s approach to using ARPA funds will support a strong and equitable recovery, respond to the public health emergency and negative economic impacts, and address racial, health, and economic disparities.


Community Engagement and Planning

The Boulder County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) partnered with the Community Foundation of Boulder County, consultant Rebuild by Design, and local community partners on community engagement to ensure ARPA funding investments achieve the highest level of positive and equitable impact for the community.

The first phase of the community engagement process entailed six weeks of collecting feedback from residents, businesses, workers, and students in the county. From more than 1500 completed surveys and 41 events, the engagement process revealed that the greatest challenges facing community members are:

1) Negative Economic Impacts
2) Housing Affordability
3) Cost of Living
4) Mental Health
5) Childcare

These results were consistent across gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, employment status, and disability status.

The second phase consisted of a four-month Working Group process to delve more deeply into three priority areas and ultimately make recommendations for specific projects to address the needs in these areas: Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, and Mental Health and Social Resilience. Read below for more.

The partner agencies supporting these efforts alongside Boulder County are:

Boulder County partner agencies: Boulder County Arts Alliance, Human Services Alliance, Northwest Chamber Alliance, Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services, Front Rage Community College.

The process for collecting feedback in Phase 1 entailed six weeks of in-person and online outreach (September 1st – October 15th), in partnership with community members and leaders, seeking ideas for building a durable and equitable recovery. County staff and community partners organized and/or attended over 41 events throughout the county to listen to residents’, businesses’, workers’, and students’ concerns and gathered more than 1500 surveys in English, Spanish, and Nepali, “Boulder County Wants to Hear from You!”

When asked “What’s one thing Boulder County can do to improve the lives of you, your loved ones, or your business?” an overwhelming number of respondents suggested increased and improved affordable housing options. The other top suggestions include economic support to offset the impacts of the pandemic, improved mental health services including initiatives to combat social isolation from the digital divide, increasing affordable childcare options, and greater support for the arts and artists.

Feedback also revealed skepticism and doubts from the community that their opinions will be heard. We also heard that while the County has made resources available to those who have struggled throughout the pandemic, many individuals and businesses are unaware of the programs they can access or do not know how to navigate the current systems.

For more insights from the engagement process, lessons learned, and recommendations for Phase 2, read the ARPA Steering Committee Preliminary Engagement Report (in English), or the ARPA Steering Committee Preliminary Engagement Report (in Spanish), or watch the ARPA Steering Committee’s November 10th presentation to BOCC

The BOCC also hosted an ARPA-focused Town Hall that took place on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Watch the Town Hall video and learn more about the community engagement process and Q&A from Boulder County residents! In addition to the survey and other opportunities for community engagement, existing data and prior feedback from the community were collected and synthesized

The BOCC and ARPA Steering Committee appointed three ARPA Working Groups in December 2021, comprised of community members that understand the diverse interests of Boulder County and can speak first-hand to the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19, moving into the next phase of community engagement and planning. Members were appointed in the three working group focus areas of: Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, and Mental Health and Social Resilience. Working Groups met from February to May 2022, drawing from educational and informative workshops, subject matter experts, the needs and ideas of community members, Treasury guidelines for ARPA and the ARPA framework to promote equitable outcomes, and more. The recordings of these meetings are posted on the ARPA website.

Each of the working groups included a community partner and County department head as co-leads, with a County Commissioner as sponsor to support the process. Working groups added additional members in subcommittees or as advisors to draw from lived and subject matter expertise and experience in the community. Click on the tab: ARPA Working Groups Descriptions below for detailed information on the structure, roles, and responsibilities of each one the working groups and its members.

Working Groups proposed recommendations to the BOCC in May 2022 that support ARPA investments in each of the three focus areas for a total of approximately $46 million in funding. Phase 2 projects were approved at business meetings in June and August 2022

Each of the categories for the working groups is directly based on the findings from the initial outreach to Boulder County communities. This community engagement process identified Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, Mental Health, and Social Resilience among the greatest concerns for residents, business owners, workers, and students in Boulder County.
You can find detailed results of the community engagement process following the link to the ARPA Steering Committee Preliminary Engagement Report.

The following is the description of the focus areas and the priority issues for each of the three working groups:

Economic Challenges – Economic challenges are the number one issue affecting Boulder County residents, businesses, and students. Many survey respondents raised the interconnected issues of cost of living, small business needs, workforce development, childcare, and other economic issues. This working group will recommend initiatives that address economic challenges within the community, with a particular emphasis on the issues magnified by the pandemic.

Co-Chairs: Rebecca Novinger, Human Services Alliance and

Susan Caskey, Boulder County, Co-Director of Housing and Human Services

Sponsor: Marta Loachamin, County Commissioner

Housing Affordability – The challenge of housing affordability for the residents of Boulder County existed before the pandemic. For some community members and businesses, the loss of income due to the pandemic exacerbated housing instability. This group proposed solutions to address the housing crisis in Boulder County for both renters and owners alike.

Co-Chairs: Karen Gerrity, InterMountain Alliance, and BOCO Long Term Recovery Group

Paul Jannatpour, Boulder County, Co-Director of Housing and Human Services

Sponsor: Claire Levy, County Commissioner

Mental Health and Social Resilience – Being physically apart from friends and family during lockdown brought on many challenges, including social isolation, worsened mental health, workforce burnout, and compassion fatigue. While some suffered due to too much time in a digital world, others struggled due to lack of access or ability to use technology. This group researched policies and programs that will bring communities together and address social isolation, and mental health and public health challenges.

Co-Chairs: Katrina Harms, Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services and

Robin Bohannan, Boulder County Director of Community Services

Sponsor: Matt Jones, County Commissioner

To better understand the impacts of the pandemic in the community and the needs of community members, Boulder County engaged in research and a community engagement process. Boulder County retained TDA Consulting, Inc. to conduct a gap analysis analyzing data on the pandemic’s impacts in Boulder County, using ARPA spending categories to categorize data and summarize priority needs identified by community stakeholders. Boulder County commits to promoting and practicing racial equity, and the report incorporates data, when available, that illuminates ways the pandemic has had racially disproportionate impacts. TDA Consulting’s report, Impacts of the Pandemic on Boulder County provides more information.

With the assistance of consultant Rebuild by Design and in collaboration with Community Foundation Boulder County and the ARPA Steering Committee, the first phase of the community engagement process sought community feedback regarding needs in the community and recommendations for a transformative and equitable recovery. In November 2021, the ARPA Community Steering Committee shared the results with the ARPA Steering Committee Preliminary Engagement Report in English and Preliminary Engagement Report in Spanish.

The following reports further explain the process, findings, and recommendations for each phase of the community engagement and planning process:


Funding Allocations

$63,359,749 million total ARPA SLFRF funding awarded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to Boulder County.

Spring 2021
Pandemic Response and Immediate Needs

2021 -2022
Community Engagement and Planning

2022 – 2026
Phase 2 Project Implementation

The U.S. Department of the Treasury launched this much-needed financial relief to address the following:

  • Support urgent COVID-19 public health response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus;
  • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses;
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic;
  • Replace lost revenue for governments to strengthen vital public services and help retain jobs; and
  • Make infrastructure investments in broadband, clean water, and wastewater facilities.

Treasury requires that local governments address disparate impacts and achieve equitable outcomes with ARPA funds and cites President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, signed on January 20, 2021. The BOCC stated its support for that executive order and for advancing racial equity in a Jan. 27, 2021, statement.

Boulder County’s annual recovery plan describes response and recovery efforts to date, community engagement and planning efforts, consideration of equity impacts and outcomes, actual and planned uses of funds, and other information required by Treasury. See the most recent ARPA SLFRF Recovery Plan Performance Report.

Boulder County has made two rounds of funding allocations from the $63,359,749 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) award that the County received from Treasury. The Board of County Commissioners approved an initial allocation of $5,531,880 in 2021 toward immediate needs in pandemic response and recovery. The immediate needs process in Summer and Fall 2021 evaluated and responded to unmet needs of the community and internal county operations as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency that were not funded in Boulder County’s annual budget cycle.

To determine how to expend the remainder of funds, aside from administrative and a reserve for pandemic costs, the County and partners engaged in a community engagement and planning process, with the assistance of consultant Rebuild by Design and in collaboration with Community Foundation Boulder County and the ARPA Steering Committee. First, the County heard from more than 1500 residents about needs and impacts of the pandemic.

Community feedback identified three areas of greatest need: Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, and Mental Health and Social Resilience. Working Groups formed around each of these issue areas to identify projects for a transformative and equitable recovery. Working groups were composed of community members from non-profits, businesses, and other stakeholders, and each was sponsored by a County Commissioner and co-led by a community leader and a Boulder County department head. Their work was informed by feedback from community feedback as well as stakeholder input, best practices and research, advice from subject matter experts, and other ways. Working Group members developed project ideas and then prioritized according to what would have the most impact and other criteria. Proposals were presented to the Board at a public hearing on May 3, 2022 and approved at Business Meetings in June and August 2022.

The county also previously received CARES Act funding in 2020 and Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance funds through early 2023, in addition to ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars. Some of the programs and services CARES Act funds supported included grants for childcare centers, human services initiatives, local non-profits support, telework resources for county staff, public health support, and economic assistance to local businesses and non-profits.

Administrative

Administrative Support for ARPA $2,536,970.49

Funding for staff to assist in administration and management of ARPA and various grant funding received between 2021 and 2024. Duties include facilitating requests for funding, eligibility evaluation, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, audit preparation, and other related duties. Staff resources are also needed for communications, briefings, presentations, training, and other reporting and procedure development. This request includes FT Program Manager, FT Grant Accountant, PT Clerical Support, PT Eligibility Analyst, and Communications Specialist coordinating across county departments and with partner organizations.

ARPA Planning Contractor $60,119.21
Consultant for the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office will synthesize input from a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders on pandemic response and recovery needs. The consultant will deliver a report to the BOCC that analyzes data on how the pandemic has impacted Boulder County and input gathered to date from the community, staff, and other partners. This will include input specifically related to use of SLFRF funds as well as other existing data and reports that reflect the priorities and needs of different parts of the Boulder County community. In addition to summarizing common themes and priorities, the gap analysis will identify information gaps where specific communities are not represented.

Community Engagement $699,419.66
The Boulder County Commissioners’ Office is undertaking a community engagement process to plan for longer-term investment of ARPA funding, and community engagement work will continue for accountability, transparency, reporting, and other needs. This request includes costs for events, partner engagement, printed materials, translation, and related expenses to support community engagement and community feedback through the survey and at community events. This project also provides funding for community engagement staff, who will be responsible for community engagement strategy and implementation, representing the county as liaison and communication link, planning and coordinating meetings with the public and participating in community meetings, analyzing and reporting on community engagement efforts and outcomes and data from those efforts including identification of gaps, supporting data and reporting efforts, and supporting communications work.

Boulder County Public Health ARPA Administration $247,538
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Public Health ARPA projects. Duties include financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. This position will reside in Public Health and will facilitate required information flow between Public Health and the BoCo ARPA Team.

HHS Administrative Support $ 870,025.60
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects. Duties include project management and coordination across HHS ARPA programs, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. Positions will reside in HHS and will facilitate required information flow between HHS and the BoCo ARPA Team.

CS Administrative Support $846,196.08
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Community Services (CS) projects. Duties include coordination across CS ARPA programs, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. This position will reside in CS and will facilitate required information flow between CS and the BoCo ARPA Team.

Public Health

Boulder County Public Health COVID Testing $201,985.87
Access to COVID-19 testing, especially for vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, is a critical immediate need given the spikes in cases due to variants. BCPH has been working with Boulder Community Hospital over the past year to ensure access to testing in congregate settings, shelters, outbreak sites, and more remote mountain communities such as Nederland. These populations represent priority populations (e.g., older adults in LTCF’s, homeless, homebound, etc.) and vulnerable groups, including those in congregate settings (e.g. assisted living, etc.) who have been exposed to a positive case, as well as geographically remote residents. Funding is for Boulder Community Hospital, reimbursement of services since March 3, 2021, and pass-through funds to continue the work.

Juvenile Assessment Center COVID positions $130,084
Throughout the pandemic, the Juvenile Assessment Center has operated continuously in person as a secure juvenile detention facility for Boulder County law enforcement. The Juvenile Center is the only county-funded intake, assessment, and short-term detention facility in the state, with a maximum holding capacity of 20 youths, ages 10 to 17. This facility provides structured programming including educational and life skill activities in order to reduce further harm. The need for well trained and sustained full-time positions is a critical need to maintain safe and secure care for our county’s most vulnerable families and juveniles. The scope of work for this request extends two full-time term positions through the COVID-19 recovery.

Boulder County Public Health Vaccine Community Support $1,656,570.11
Funding supports several community communications efforts: 1) Funds to continue the VECC (Vaccine Equity Coordinating Committee) to reach much of the remaining 95,000 people in Boulder County who still need to be vaccinated and continue containment and mitigation outreach. Funding is for the VECC Coordinator and Project Manager to coordinate and support the planning and implementation of vaccination programs. 2) Support for COVID-19 communications, including a Bilingual Communications Specialist and funds for bilingual COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Community Ambassadors work to ensure priority populations are protected and increasingly vaccinated, and funding will continue that collaboration. 3) Variants created an urgent need to fully staff the BCPH Call Center to provide accurate information to the public including information on testing, vaccinations, and new Public Health Orders. Funds will cover staff, and funds to provide three staff. 4) Finally, support is needed to reconvene a Business and Community Liaison team to respond to the business/community needs. Funding is for a Coordinator and two staff (at least one bilingual/bicultural), along with up to $100,000 pass-through funds for a) legal support from the County Attorney’s office and b) to retain and pay for the outside council for investigating, filing, and litigation violations individual and business violations of public health orders and for representing Boulder County Public Health in legal proceedings concerning public health orders.

Low Wage Workers Fund $250,000 (Project Cancelled – Funds reallocated)
Many low-wage workers in Boulder County cannot afford to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. Although there are some paid leave protections in Colorado, they don’t apply to all workers, and many employees don’t feel they can advocate for their employee rights for a myriad of reasons, including documentation status and/or fear of retaliation. Exposure to COVID-19 can result in isolation or quarantine. These periods of time where one is prohibited from working can cause financial strain, especially for low-wage workers. This program will provide direct cash assistance to individuals who need to isolate or quarantine as a way to ensure their financial stability, such as affording general household expenses, and to reduce the further transmission of COVID-19 throughout the community. Qualification requirements include: Boulder County resident, individual tested positive OR applicant is a caregiver to a family member that tested positive for COVID-19; individual Income: Earns $600 or less per week; household Income: Eligible for Health First Colorado; and worked within last two weeks prior to testing COVID-19 positive or having to caregive. Cash supports will be between $1000-$1500. Assistance is limited to one grant per household.

Negative Economic Impacts

Boulder County Public Health Food Insecurity $130,178
The pandemic has resulted in greater food insecurity within Boulder County, and programs that serve “gap” populations who are not eligible for Federal programs or that supplement insufficient programs are seeing larger waitlists. To best facilitate an urgent response, BCPH will increase pass-through funding to BCPH’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Gap Funding program to provide food benefits to additional families not served by other federal programs and are currently on the waitlist. This program enhances WIC fruit and vegetable benefits, offering weekly home delivery and a farmer’s market model that provides reliable and consistent nutrition benefits. In a typical year, WIC families may only receive $8 per person per month for fresh produce. This program fills a nutrition gap not offered through the federal program or local programs. This funding will increase direct support to families to enhance food security while supporting local farmers and agriculture and partners at the Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets, as well as economic revitalization through multiplier effects and supporting healthy food consumption. Boulder County Farmers Markets (BCFM) will distribute $20 in healthy food incentives to Boulder County WIC families with a Longmont or BOCO sticker one time weekly via home delivery or at in-person farmers markets. BCFM staff will track eligible families for each home delivery or physical farmers market transaction.

Left Behind Workers Fund $300,000
The Left Behind Workers Fund (LBWF) provides financial support to workers that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are ineligible for unemployment insurance and other stimulus funds. The LBWF provides $1000 in direct cash assistance to workers who experienced the loss of employment after February 2020, including complete job loss, current job loss of 20+ hours/week, or previous loss of 20+ hours/week for a month or more, as well as those impacted by an unpaid leave of absence from work due to school or daycare closures, the need to care for family members, or the need to remain quarantined after possible COVID-19 exposure.

Eviction Representation $50,000
The City of Boulder’s “No Eviction w/o Representation Program” provides legal aid and representation to those who are facing eviction and cannot afford legal support. The City of Boulder program is funded by a landlord fee required through a newly passed ballot measure. Currently, similar services are not available throughout the rest of Boulder County except through grant-funded services when available. Due to COVID-19 and the end of the eviction moratorium, the number of people county-wide, but not in the City of Boulder, needing legal aid who are facing eviction continues to increase, and funds are needed to provide these services. Currently, the City of Boulder contracts with Bridge to Justice, and this agency has been taking on non-COB clients on an as-needed basis. More funding is needed because Bridge to Justice was provided supplemental funds last year through Senate Bill 20B-002 in the amount of $25,793.53 that, to their knowledge, will not be available again this coming year. $50,000 is requested for the continuation of this programming for Boulder County (non-City of Boulder) clients through the end of FY 2022 to cover the previously received supplemental funding and continued programming for Boulder County-specific services. This past year, 31 of the 49 evictions were filed for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19-related hardship, and 27 successful outcomes were tracked. Services and information are provided in English and Spanish.

Employment Services, Workforce Boulder County $385,000
This request involves hiring five individuals to support local residents’ employment and re-employment needs. Workforce Boulder County will hire four “Employment Advisors” supported by one supervisor. The advisors will meet one on one with the public and provide triaging services, information and referrals, coaching, and connection to jobs. Two advisors will work from the St. Vrain Community HUB and two will work out of the Boulder office. This service will complement other services including the Virtual Call Center, Career Development Workshops, and the more intensive case management services (including training and retraining).

Workforce Boulder County Virtual Call Center $370,000 (Project Complete)
The Virtual Call Center (VCC) is regarded as a “hub” for anyone impacted by unemployment. VCC assists people who lost jobs due to the pandemic and related economic downturn, helping people in our community regain economic and employment stability for themselves and their families. People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have experienced significant wait times attempting to reach the State Unemployment Office, and WfBC’s VCC provides a place for people to reach a resolution. The scope of work is answering calls, identifying the unique needs of each person, and determining the next best steps toward sustainable employment. VCC agents specialize in understanding the unemployment system, have a working knowledge of the career development process, stay abreast of the internal and external sources available to provide warm referrals and strive to offer the best in public service.

District Attorney’s Office Court Reporter Funding $130,000 (Project Complete – $53,649 Spent)
The District Attorney’s Office continues to manage a backlog of criminal cases and jury trials that were not able to be resolved during the pandemic as in-person litigated hearings and jury trials were not being held. The backlog of jury trials and court cases is extensive and causing the trial docket to be over capacity and set many cases deep during any given trial week. The most serious offenders and the most serious criminal cases, such as sexual assault, crimes against children, and homicide, remain unresolved and must continue to proceed through litigated hearings and jury trials. Due to state budget cuts from the pandemic, the 20th Judicial District State Courts laid off their Court Reporters. Court Reporters are an essential part of the criminal justice process in each case in order to make an accurate record of all proceedings. Without a proper record for appeal, the information is assumed to be non-existent in the record and that can lead to the case being overturned and sent back down to the trial court for retrial by the District Attorney’s Office. Additionally, it is often very difficult to proceed to a jury trial for a second time and secure a similarly successful outcome twice based on the now unavailability of evidence or witnesses present in the first trial.

Boulder County Public Health Support for Childhood Health and Development $172,000
Pandemic-related closing of childcare centers and increased earning pressure on families has caused an increase in unlicensed childcare facilities, with around 50% of Latinx parents in Boulder County currently using such providers. BCPH will provide support to dozens of unlicensed providers through a bilingual/bicultural position based in the BCPH Child Health Promotion Program. This position will serve previously unserved Family-Friends-Neighbors Network providers to enhance child health outcomes and quality, adherence to public health guidelines, and reliable care for families returning to the workforce. This includes funding for childcare provider essential needs and equipment.

Additionally, children have experienced significantly increased stressors that impact their socio-emotional development. BCPH will leverage existing programs through the Nurse Family Partnership, WIC, Children with Special Needs, Genesis, Child Health Promotion, and other programs to address this need. ARPA funding will provide extended subscriptions to two key programs for one year, including: 1) Developmental screening services to identify children who need early intervention services through subscription to online ASQ-3 and ASQ SE-2 developmental and social-emotional screenings in English and Spanish. 2) Extension of the LENA (Language Environment Analysis) program subscription to train parents in child development and subscription to the Passageworks and Circle of Security parent education programs to help parents navigate trauma children have experienced; these efforts are implemented in collaboration with partners including SVVSD, City of Longmont, Our Center, ECCBC, BVSD, and Boulder Library.

Support for a Successful Implementation of the Emergency Choice Vouchers $120,000
A full-time case manager specializing in Move On protocols will provide support to individuals experiencing homelessness.  This position will help connect individuals with vouchers and secure vacant apartments.  HUD has released Emergency Choice Vouchers to eligible Public Housing Authorities to address connecting individuals experiencing homelessness to housing. These one-time funds are an opportunity to impact unhoused individuals positively. By providing up to two months of market-rate rent to landlords who report a vacant unit, we can ensure individuals with vouchers can rapidly connect to a unit willing to receive it. This approach can also assist individuals who have challenging backgrounds as these funds and approaches can be used as a tool to recruit new landlords.

Public Sector Capacity

Program Evaluation and Data – $1,075,705.86
The Program Evaluation and Data project supports effective data tracking and reporting with an equity lens across ARPA-funded projects, to meet reporting requirements as defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the use of ARPA funds, and for evaluation of program and project outcomes for Boulder County communities impacted by COVID-19. The project is charged with ARPA data practices and processes and finding ways to improve on them, through the lens of racial equity. The project will make information a priority and more readily available as input to analysis and data-informed decision-making to optimize the county’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts for ARPA funding, looking at results that include pandemic impacts on our community’s health, economics, county operations, racial equity, etc. The project will consist of a team of Racial Equity Practitioner, Business Analyst, and Data Analyst, with resources also provided for Racial Equity Panels and technology. The project supports ARPA-funded projects that respond to public health or negative economic impacts experienced.

Provision of Government Services

Assistance for the Family Resource Centers: OUR Center, Sister Carmen Community Center, and Emergency Family Assistance Association $1,500,000
Funding for the Family Resource Centers (FRCs) or the populations they serve will assist in meeting immediate community needs across Boulder County. FRCs provide direct basic needs assistance, including cash assistance to eligible clients to support items such as current and arrears utility bills, food assistance, car repairs/insurance, gap funding to clients who do not qualify for other government assistance, and/or bridge funding while waiting on additional community resources. During the pandemic, they also have been supporting access for clients to pandemic relief programs such as Emergency Rental Assistance and aid to impacted workers. The FRCs are an established system that most directly serves lower-income populations which also can include people experiencing homelessness or housing instability, BIPOC, and immigrant communities.

Digital Divide Project $557,395
The Community Services Digital Divide Project bridges the technology divide through several efforts to increase access to education, employment, and services: Support for nonprofits and internal programs by procuring, providing, and instructing vulnerable community members on technological devices and connectivity; part-time resource navigators to support the connection, instruction, and 1:1 support to connect individuals with technology; and devices and connectivity for individuals experiencing homelessness and inmates while in custody.

The Boulder County Board of County Commissioners has approved $46,480,000 in Phase 2 ARPA funding, in addition to $5,531,880 for immediate needs approved in 2021. An additional $3,993,436 was added for Willoughby Corner. Below are descriptions of the Phase 2 projects in the categories of Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, and Mental Health and Social Resilience.

Economic Challenges (up to $18,700,000)

Survive and Thrive Small Business/Nonprofit Grants.

$7,500,000 – Funds to support nonprofit organizations and child care providers for meaningful short- and long-term investments that will stabilize their business condition, workforce, and operations.

Direct Cash Assistance to Families with Young Children

$6,000,000- Direct cash assistance to low-income families with young children aged 0 to 3 years old, which have been particularly impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and live in lower-income and vulnerable households. Modeled after the expanded Federal Child Tax Credit, funding amounts are $300 per month per child aged 0 to 3.

YMCA Scholarships

$500,000 – The YMCA serves approximately 1,200 children annually in childcare – preschool, before and after school care – at an average cost of $3,250 per year (which does not include the thousands of children served at camps, swimming, sports, and other programs). One-third of childcare families receive financial aid at a cost to the YMCA of $1.3 million annually. ARPA funding will support financial aid at the YMCA for high-quality, accessible, English as a second language childcare for working families.

YMCA Mapleton Site

$975,000 – The need for high-quality, affordable childcare highlighted by the pandemic and now a national priority was already known to the YMCA of Northern Colorado. ARPA funds will help renovate the Boulder Mapleton site to expand infant, toddler, and pre-k licensed childcare into three shifts (24 hours) to accommodate essential workers from industries such as law enforcement, hotels, hospitals, etc.

Childcare Village Hub

$975,000 – Capital funding and funding for operational support will contribute to development of an Early Childhood Community Village (The Village) in southeast Longmont to expand and support early childhood development in multiple aspects. Funding will be used as seed money to support the design and development of an Early Childhood Community Village concept focused on serving children ages 0 to five. The Village will bring together in one facility:

  • Professional development and training opportunities for early care providers, especially Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers;
  • High-quality and culturally and linguistically matched early childhood care and education;
  • Medical, social-emotional, and language support for families and professionals; and
  • Peer and community support for providers and families.

Family Connects Home Visitation

$2,000,000 – Family Connects is an evidence-based model that combines engagement and alignment of community services and resources with short-term nurse home visiting beginning in the first month after birth. Family Connects is designed to be provided to all families with newborns, voluntarily and at no cost. Family Connects ensures that families have a medical home; provide physical and mental health screenings; assess family strengths and needs comprehensively; and connect families to community resources that support their individual family needs and preferences.

Small Businesses Back Taxes

$750,000 – Funding will cover past Business Personal Property Accounts taxes for eligible businesses that closed during the pandemic. There were 1,735 Business Personal Property Accounts that have been deactivated because the business closed or struggled to pay tax obligations between the start of the pandemic and summer 2022. Not all businesses closed or are in arrears because of the pandemic, but many restaurants, gyms, hair studios, and other “contact” businesses that closed did so, at least in part, because of pandemic restrictions, loss of revenue, and other pandemic-related factors. Funds will support paying tax obligations, allowing business owners to recover and move on with their lives.

Housing Affordability, $20,773,436

Regional Housing Partnership

$1,500,000 – This project builds organizational capacity to:

  • Expand the home-ownership program throughout the County to purchase, resell, and administer existing and new ownership units;
  • Increase capacity to smaller cities that don’t have affordable housing policy, rental compliance, and fund compliance staff;
  • Expand eviction prevention services, both rental assistance and legal assistance; and
  • Expand foreclosure prevention services regionally for affordable ownership homes, with a revolving loan fund.

The purpose of the Regional Housing Partnership is to centralize compliance and homeownership program services through the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership (BCRHP), a regional partnership and expansion collaboration not seen elsewhere in Colorado.

Manufactured Housing Park Acquisition and Upgrades

$5,000,000 – A reserve fund will supply grants or zero-interest forgivable loans to provide partial support for (a) acquisition of manufactured housing parks by residents that form resident-owned communities (ROCs) or assign their rights to the County or nonprofit land trusts; (b) major infrastructure improvement projects for ROCs or landlords who commit to long-term affordability; and (c) home repair assistance for low-income residents in these communities.

Affordable Housing Pipeline

Willoughby Corner $12,882,778
Funding for Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) to be used for affordable housing development projects that need additional funding to reach completion and administration of BCHA’s affordable housing portfolio. The primary objective is to quickly increase the inventory of permanently affordable housing units available in Boulder County for rental and/or sale and to provide economically challenged individuals, families, elders, and our workforce, with safe, stable, high-quality affordable homes. This specific project will help in development of Willoughby Corner supporting the creation of an additional 400 permanently affordable homes in Boulder County.

Casa de la Esperanza $350,000
Funding for Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) to be used for affordable housing development projects that are in need of additional funding to reach completion and administration of BCHA’s affordable housing portfolio. The primary objective is to quickly increase the inventory of permanently affordable housing units available in Boulder County for rental and/or sale and to provide economically challenged individuals, families, elders, and our workforce, with safe, stable, high-quality affordable homes. This specific project will cover a needs assessment and conduct upgrades and repairs at the Casa de la Esperanza housing project.

Affordable Housing Pipeline Policy Manager $240,658.00
BCHA will use the funds to support 50 percent of the personnel costs (salary, benefits, phone, and mileage) for the new Housing Partnership and Policy Manager until the end of 2025. The Housing Partnership and Policy Manager will lead the county’s efforts to deepen local, state, and federal partnerships and introduce and advocate for policies that increase affordable housing across Boulder County.

Habitat for Humanity

$800,000 – This Habitat for Humanity development will consist of a development of three tri-plex townhomes. Two of the buildings will be two-story structures with four three-bedroom and two four-bedroom units. The third building will be a single-story structure designed with a zero-entryway and doorways wide enough to allow for wheelchair access. The homes are designed for families to age in place and be easily modified to be handicapped accessible. The third building is one story and will have two two-bedroom units and one threebedroom unit. ARPA funding will support the costs for construction of the infrastructure for the development.

Mental Health and Social Resilience $11,517,596

Boulder County Public Health Mental and Behavioral Health

$517,596 -These funds will support the continuation of Boulder County Public Health’s (BCPH) work in this arena. Funds will be directed to six areas of focus: investing in prevention and addressing conditions of community resilience and wellbeing; early intervention and connection to support; focused approaches to advance equity and support priority populations; robust continuum of care for treatment and crisis response; recovery and hope; and a coordinated system and workforce to meet the needs of the community. Boulder County will fund this program at an amount of $1,374,343 with $517,596 coming from direct ARPA funds.

Equitable Access (Front Door Model): Community Trainings

$500,000 – Mental Health First Aid/RISE for All will educate the broader community and help reduce stigma and increase awareness surrounding mental health. To effectively reach specific priority populations, it will be important to include a variety of training options including in-person learning; working through schools, faith- and community-based organizations; and offering classes in different languages.

Community Mobile Response Teams

$3,000,000 – Resources a mobile response team to engage individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in order to deescalate, assess, decriminalize, and determine a care plan that would result in increased access to behavioral health treatment, therapy, and supportive services. The program should be culturally responsive and coordinated across jurisdictions and across county services.

Community-Wide Navigation Hub

$3,000,000 – Provide a community-wide resource to support navigation and care coordination to appropriate mental and behavioral health services for all Boulder County community members.

Equitable Access (Front Door Model): Community-Based Grants

$3,000,000 – Grant program for mental health-related community-based organizations that allows organizations directly serving the community to either offer specific programs and services to a larger audience than they’re currently serving and/or provide these services for free.

Equitable Access (Front Door Model): Mental Health Vouchers

$1,000,000 – Mental health voucher/reimbursement program to allow community members to seek care, including alternative care, without worrying about financial burden.

Equitable Access (Front Door Model): School-Based Services

$500,000 – Model will be developed in collaboration with school and other related partners.

Direct COVID-19 Costs Projects $499,253

Boulder County Public Health PPE

$24,082.00 – Expenses incurred by Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) to replenish the Personel Protective Equipment (PPE) cache and other emergency supplies. This includes materials such as N95 and KN95 masks as well as an all-weather storage center.

BCPH Direct COVID Costs

$131,929.00 – Direct COVID costs and other public health expenses incurred by Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) related to communications, enforcement, and quarantining.

COVID Recovery Center

$170,158.79 – (Project Completed) Expenditures for personnel and operational services for the COVID Recovery Center for people who are homeless to seek treatment or quarantine with COVID-19 during the pandemic.


Financial Transactions

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), signed into law on March 11, 2021, provided funding to relieve the continued impacts of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, individuals, and businesses. Boulder County was allocated $63,359,749 through the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

ARPA funding is critical for Boulder County to address the lingering public health effects and economic challenges left by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes tackling the disproportionate impacts that the pandemic revealed and exacerbated.

Some of the projects ARPA has supported include:

  • Food insecurity programming to provide fresh foods to low-income families
  • Workforce Boulder County call center and employment services
  • Public health support that includes COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts
  • Support for low-income workers to quarantine or address work reductions
  • Housing and support for people who are unhoused

In alignment with the County’s strategic priority of Organizational and Financial Stewardship, ARPA SLFRF financial data is publicly shared here for all to review. Limitations of this data include:

  • The financial data on this page only demonstrates the use of ARPA funds Boulder County received from Treasury
  • County departments and Boulder County Public Health received non-SLFRF ARPA funds. That data is not included here
  • The data shown for public health represents payments that were made from Boulder County to Boulder County Public Health as they are a separate legal entity that manages their own transactions.

To date, ARPA funds allocation relates to the following Treasury Expenditure Categories:

  • Public Health: Public health eligible uses include COVID-19 mitigation and prevention, medical expenses, and behavioral healthcare
  • Negative Economic Impacts: Focused on direct community economic relief and assistance to households, businesses, and nonprofits
  • Public Health: Negative Economic Impact: Public Sector Capacity: Funding for Data and Evaluation for ARPA
  • Revenue Replacement: Funding to provide government services during the pandemic
  • Administrative Support: For planning, implementation, and monitoring of programs structured under ARPA SLFRF requirements

To learn more about ARPA, go to the U.S. Department of Treasury State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds website.

NOTE: The ARPA fund distribution data is updated quarterly. Details of Boulder County’s allocation of ARPA funds will reveal additional information on the breakdown of each segment.

There are seven federal spending categories. This view illustrates the total amount of spending in those categories to date. Data shows investment in from 2021 to date in public health: negative economic impact, administrative, revenue replacement, negative economic impacts.

Details of the county allocation of these ARPA funds by project task from 2021 to date.

In January 2022, Treasury provided the opportunity for a one-time standard allowance of up to $10 million in the revenue replacement category of eligible uses, whether revenue was lost or not, to be spent on general government services. The Boulder County Commissioners opted into the standard allowance and directed that revenue replacement dollars be expended on projects that address disparate pandemic-related impacts identified by and in the community. Projects selected for this category are referred to as Spirit of ARPA Projects (SOAP) and were recommended in Immediate Needs or the Phase 2 Working Group process, ensuring these projects remain true to the intention of addressing disparate pandemic-related impacts identified by and in the community.

The Boulder County Commissioners further directed that revenue replacement dollars be expended on projects that align with needs identified by the community and the ARPA Working Groups, but that would not be possible to implement due to program complexity, administrative burden, or eligibility and other constraints of the ARPA funds. Projects allocated under the $10 million revenue replacement category include Digital Divide and Family Resource Center projects totaling $2,057,396. Additionally, $7.94 million of annual budgeted funding from the county general fund for Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) was funded instead from ARPA revenue replacement dollars, freeing up that same amount in the county general fund for SOAP projects. The $7.94 million freed up through ARPA revenue replacement is funding:

  • Manufactured Housing Park Acquisition and Upgrades
  • Regional Housing Partnership
  • Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley
  • Small Business Back Taxes

The dashboard Spirit of ARPA Projects (SOAP) from Revenue Replacement Funds provides a breakdown of each funding category and as transparency is a priority at Boulder County, this website will be updated with spending updates, key performance indicator data, and additional program information.

The chart includes expenditure amounts for each project. Habitat for Humanity percent of total: 50.5%, small business back taxes: 39%; manufactured housing park program: 6%; regional housing policy partnership: 4.5%

NOTE – The SOAP Expenditures chart shows the expenditure amounts for each SOAP project. To learn more about SOAP investments, visit the Spirit of ARPA Projects (SOAP) from Revenue Replacement Funds Dashboard or the SOAP Expenditures chart.

SOAP expenditures organization shows investments per month.


Stay Informed

ARPA News

Longmont Public Media Highlights the Progress of the Affordable Housing Project, Willoughby Corner

Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin and Tanya Jimenez, Housing Developer with the Boulder County Housing Authority, were invited to the Longmont Public Media studios for an interview to sharePictured left to right above: Rossana Longo Better, Colorado News Collaborative. Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin and Tanya Jimenez, Housing Developer with the Boulder County Housing Authority in a TV interview updates on ARPA investments in affordable housing options for Boulder County communities.

The interview highlighted the progress of Willoughby Corner construction, supported by ARPA funds. Willoughby Corner is a planned neighborhood of permanently affordable homes. The Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) is developing the project, which will include 400 homes in a variety of building types, such as duplexes, townhomes, and apartments.

Watch the interview on ARPA investments in affordable housing options and the Spanish interview on affordable housing options.

ARPA funds meetings recordings