Rules matter: Aligning need to eligibility


Authors: Rebekka Hosken, Manager (Email) and Mark Olson, Senior Manager (Email)

Not every COVID-19 related need is eligible for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, and there are strict timelines. Nothing is easy when it comes to federal funding and details are still being developed. If staff is already crunched for time, diving into the grant and loan program frameworks and aligning projects may be a heavy lift.

With an understanding of community needs and priorities, Raftelis can align those needs with an eligibility matrix to spring you forward on a funding strategy. This needs assessment compares the desired areas of effort and projects to the provisions of ARPA and the CARES Act funding categories. Our team provides recommendations to determine which funding source can be used and under which timeline. This step ensures that ARPA funding is allocated to projects not eligible for other funding and, if applicable, will help define opportunities to leverage available resources to generate more significant and lasting impact in the community.

Some ARPA funding opportunities will include a grant and or loan program to provide direct community funding assistance, such as rental or utility bill assistance or small business support. Raftelis assists local governments and utilities in developing program goals and objectives, so that specific criteria can be presented to policy makers for review and approval.

Whether it involves a program to connect low-income water customers with financial assistance to pay their delinquent water bills, or a grant/loan program framework to support community nonprofits we will work closely with staff to develop ranking criteria and marketing materials to assist in advertising grant/loan availability. Raftelis communications specialists and our graphics team can create compelling materials to ensure that the community is aware of the program and we can help simplify the process to apply for funding.