American Rescue Plan Act Funding

Hamilton County was awarded $158.8 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These funds are intended to: 1. Fight the pandemic and support families and businesses struggling with its public health and economic impacts, 2. Maintain vital public services, and 3. Build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity.

Hamilton County's ARPA Plan

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hamilton County Commissioners have been a driving force in ensuring that no tool or resource is left untapped. From creating the 513Relief Bus that brings resources directly to residents, to developing grant programs and forging strong partnerships with community leaders, nonprofits, businesses, and healthcare providers - the Commissioners have worked to "build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity" as outlined by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Hamilton County's ARPA allocation plan includes the following categories:

ARPA Funding Categories - Total $158.8M, Public Health- $30.8M, Addressing Negative Economic Impacts - $73.5M, County Finances - $41.9M, Community Infrastructure - $12.5M

ARPA Funding Categories - Total $158.8M, Public Health- $30.8M, Addressing Negative Economic Impacts - $73.5M, County Finances - $41.9M, Community Infrastructure - $12.5M


48 organizations awarded funding for youth activities

Prevented 365 adults and 588 children from homelessness

27 organizations funded for youth resiliency programs

$1.5 million to help address nursing shortage

Mobile Crisis Team expanded to 24/7

$14.7 million in awards will create more than 500 units of affordable housing

4 organizations funded focused on teen suicide prevention

$225,000 to develop new construction training program

Regional Safety Complex in design

New 513 Relief Bus launched reaching more than 80 locations

993 households received mortgage assistance

$1 million towards workforce coordination

$2.1 million to the Courts for IT upgrades

1,734 small businesses awarded a total of $17.8 million combined from Cares Act funding & ARPA funding

$2 million for food assistance to Freestore Foodbank

$1.8 million to help address childcare teacher shortage

$7 million distributed to 107 non-profits providing social and family services

$1.7 million in workforce development grants

Program Spotlights

Affordable Housing

With ARPA funding, the Board of County Commissioners embraced the opportunity to provide strong leadership to make a transformational change in housing. $45.6 million is allocated towards this effort and includes mortgage assistance, affordable housing production and preservation, and homelessness prevention as further summarized below. All programs support the Board of County Commissioners priorities of affordable housing and helping residents stay in their homes.

  • 993 households received mortgage assistance.
  • Prevented 365 adults and 588 children from homelessness.
  • $33.5 million obligated to affordable housing.
  • $15 million in awards will create 500 units of affordable housing.
  • More affordable housing announcements to come….
  1. Affordable Housing Production. Numerous local and national studies have been published on the need for additional affordable housing. More recently, reports state that affordable housing developments are in jeopardy given inflation, interest rates, and remaining supply chain issues. The Board of County Commissioners recognized this need by allocating $33.5 million for production of new affordable housing and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing units. Of this allocation, $8 million will be targeted specifically for re-entry, senior, and disabled housing. These funds will support low to moderate income households. The first round of funding awards was provided to projects that were shovel ready but had a remaining financing gap. Without this funding, several of the affordable housing projects being funded would not have moved forward. The program is a phased application and award process. The purpose of this approach is to address the great need for affordable housing by making an initial round of awards to truly “shovel-ready” projects, while intentionally preserving funds for smaller developers, projects in the County that might not be “shovel-ready,” and generally to allow time for developers and organizations to consider new projects that would access these funds.
  2. Affordable Housing Preservation. To help keep people in their homes, $2 million is allocated for a homeowner repair loan program prioritizing low-income households and those households located in qualified census tracts. This program is expected to launch in 2024.
  3. Mortgage Assistance. $5 million is budgeted for mortgage assistance programs for homeowners that are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.
  4. Homelessness Prevention. One of the most effective ways to reduce homelessness is to step in before someone loses their housing. Not only is it more cost-effective, but more importantly, it is less disruptive on the person or family. $3 million in ARPA funding is allocated to expand the shelter diversion program which is targeted to those who have lost their housing, are doubled up, and/or are running out of stable housing options. In addition, another $2 million was deployed as grant funds for innovative solutions to prevent homelessness. Both programs are focused on residents that are in jeopardy of losing their housing.

513Relief Bus

In June 2021, the County launched the 513Relief Bus to provide resources directly to those who need it most and ensure health and social services are more effectively provided to County residents.

  • 191 Bus stops
  • 16,000+ residents received services on the 513 Relief Bus and/or were assisted by Job and Family Services.

The 513 Relief Bus travels to communities within Hamilton County to help improve health and economic outcomes. Phase 1 of this initiative was launched in June 2021 in partnership with UC Health who provided their mobile unit (funding was provided via CARES Act). Vaccines were administered by UC Health and Hamilton County Public Health. Access to social services was administered by Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS).

Hamilton County received its new, turnkey, commercially built bus in the winter of 2022. The new 513 Relief Bus launched on January 26, 2023, and includes general health screenings such as blood pressure, glucose monitoring, cholesterol testing, and referrals for more critical healthcare needs; mental health and substance abuse services; job coaching; senior services; and employment services.

Hamilton County Commissioners launch the new 513 Relief Bus program with community partners including: Freestore Foodbank, UC Health, Urban League, Hamilton County Public Health, Council of Aging, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, and Center for Closing the Health Gap.

Hamilton County Regional Safety Complex

Hamilton County and partners have joined together to attempt to relocate the Cincinnati Police Department firing range that has been in its current location since 1947. When the gun range is in use, which is the majority of the year, the sound of firearms is evident throughout densely populated neighborhoods. The gunfire is a constant in the lives of residential neighbors surrounding the facility with approximately 2,300 residents located within one-half mile of the range. $10.4 million in funding has been allocated to help relocate and consolidate with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Small Business Assistance

The Board allocated $9 million to assist small businesses that were negatively impacted by the pandemic. The majority of the funding was provided in grants of up to $10,000. The remaining is to provide direct technical assistance.

  • $17.8 million in small business grants (both CARES Act and ARPA funding).
  • 109 businesses receiving technical assistance.
  1. Grants. Through the CARES ACT, Hamilton County, through its Office of Economic Development, conducted two rounds of grants to small businesses. In 2021, a third round was initiated that also included ARPA funding in the amount of $2.9 million. This grant was open to small businesses with 50 employees or less, had an economic loss due to the pandemic, and had less than $2.5 million in annual revenue. Remaining ARPA funding in this line item of approximately $4 million was used for a fourth round of grants. In the fourth round, 447 businesses received funding.
  2. Small Business Support Services. Through the experience of small business grants, it is clear many of our small businesses excel at their craft yet struggle with back-office functions such as accounting and technology. To continue to support Hamilton County’s small businesses, the County entered into a subrecipient agreement with ECDI to provide eligible small businesses with expert technical assistance or advisory services. Simply put, the goal of this program is to help small businesses be more sustainable by providing expert advisory services in the following areas: Accounting; IT/computer literacy; Legal; and Marketing/social media/websites. Eligible small businesses include those located in a Qualified Census Tract or negatively impacted by the pandemic with less than 50 employees. The program launched in May 2023.

Applications, Reports & Other Documents