Lakewood dedicates ARPA funds to residential rent assistance and plans to dedicate money to infrastructure improvements


LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Mayor Meghan George applauded City Council’s decision earlier this week to accept its proposal to allocate $ 1.68 million from Lakewood’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to replenish the city ​​emergency rental assistance program.

“This program will reduce housing insecurity and prevent eviction and homelessness among low and very low income Lakewood households that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said George.

“At the same time, we have used up our own CARES law dollars which have reduced residential rents.

“There is an immediate need for this program with the end of Ohio’s $ 300 a week in increased unemployment benefits and the expiration of the moratorium on evictions on June 30,” she said. “It’s really at the heart of the American Rescue Plan Act, which helps those who have been negatively impacted by COVID.”

This expiration date of June 30 has been extended to July 31, according to measures taken by the federal government on Thursday, June 24. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now indicates that the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent will continue until July 31.

Regardless, the mayor said time was running out for passage of Lakewood’s proposal.

Administered by the Lakewood Community Service Center, the town’s emergency rental assistance program is similar to a 2020 effort supporting small businesses and residents, with 757 grants awarded totaling more than $ 1.3 million. help.

“These two programs have really helped many citizens and businesses in Lakewood survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” said George. “This time, Lakewood’s emergency rental assistance program is slightly different, based on CARES guidelines versus ARPA, but it’s quite similar.

“It shows our ability here at Lakewood to be nimble and adapt when the situation calls for it. What the council has done by passing this on first reading is to help those people who desperately need government help to stay in their homes. “

Lakewood General Council representative Tristan Rader supported the mayor’s rent relief proposal.

“Dedicating an additional $ 1.7 million to help low-income households pay rent is absolutely essential and will keep 450 Lakewood families in their homes,” Rader said in a press release.

“I am grateful to Mayor George and his administration for proposing this investment, and to our elected Democrats for enacting the US bailout.”

Renovation of the sewer system

In other news from the ARPA fund, according to which Lakewood is expected to receive $ 47 million over the next two years, George previously asked city council to approve the allocation of $ 25 million to water infrastructure. and sewers.

For years, Lakewood has focused on revamping its failed 100-year-old sewage system to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.

In addition to the $ 60 million that Lakewood has spent over the past decade to improve its sewage and wastewater system, the city faces more than $ 250 million in estimated costs to complete the entire project.

As chair of the Lakewood Public Works and Sustainability Committee, Rader said he was also in favor of the mayor’s infrastructure proposal. The city council is expected to vote on this request soon.

“Using these US bailout dollars to help resolve this dilemma is great news for the people of Lakewood,” Rader said. “While $ 25 million will only cover a portion of the total cost of necessary improvements, it is nonetheless an investment that will help residents across the city in the short term and meet long term needs.

“These investments will directly address the challenges of a sustainable and affordable lifestyle, which are among our top priorities.”

Read more news from the Sun Post Herald.

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