INVESTMENT

Home  American Rescue Plan  Investment

WHERE ARE THE FUNDS GOING?

Harris County Commissioners Court has identified Health, Housing, Jobs and Education, and County Operations as priorities for the use of our American Rescue Plan funds.

We are putting this money to work to speed recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts while also striving to support thriving, equitable, and inclusive communities. Initial efforts have been focused on immediate relief for those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Upcoming investments will increasingly focus on transformative initiatives providing communities with the resources and opportunities for long-term success. As new programs are approved by Commissioners Court, they will be added to this page.

INVESTMENT_IMAGE

The importance of a sound public health infrastructure and ease of access to healthcare services has been highlighted throughout the pandemic. Health investments will focus on addressing social determinants of health, directly combatting COVID-19, expanding access to healthcare including behavioral health services, and strengthening coordination between health systems to improve patient treatment and outcomes.

ARPA HEALTH INVESTMENTS TO DATE:

EMERGENCY_NURSING_IMAGE

EMERGENCY NURSING

Over 602 nurses, respiratory therapists, and other medical staff were temporarily placed with 18 area hospitals in response to the Delta surge, with an additional 361 placed during the Omicron surge, substantially alleviating staffing shortages and providing critical support to patients.

VACCINE_IMAGE

VACCINE INCENTIVES

The County authorized the provision of $100 payment incentives for a first does of a COVID-19 vaccine per recipient through the end of September 2021, resulting in an estimated incremental 30,000 vaccines being administered.

EnvHealth_IMAGE

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: LEAD TESTING & ABATEMENT

Expanded lead testing and abatement efforts will protect children from lead poisoning and exposure in schools, child care facilities, and homes. The program aims to improve health outcomes, enhance quality of life, and increase awareness of lead concerns in our communities.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

A Community-Initiated Mental Health and Resiliency program will address behavioral health impacts of the pandemic. The Harris Center’s “Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities” initiative will empower community members with tools and training to support each other, strengthening community behavioral health and resiliency.

CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

To improve the social and environmental conditions of our communities, the County has allocated funds to accelerate the demolition of unsafe structures and removal of rubbish, as well as securing abandoned pools and addressing other neighborhood nuisances. Upcoming expansion of the “Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods” initiative will emphasize cleaning and greening vacant lots, adding lighting, and building other infrastructure like sidewalks to improve neighborhood safety.

COORDINATED CARE

As part of the ACCESS Harris coordinated care initiative, Harris County Public Health is making transformational technology investments and bringing together County safety net departments with the purpose of coordinating care for vulnerable populations through shared data, goals, and strategies.

COUNTY_OPERATIONS_IMAGE

To ensure the success of this housing-first approach, the County funds and supports a partnership to provide additional support services to voucher recipients. In partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless and the Harris Center, our ARPA investments will help provide behavioral and mental health services, support for victims of domestic violence, and other supportive services to help voucher recipients attain more stability, achieve their personal goals, and prevent reoccurrence of homelessness.

ARPA HOUSING INVESTMENTS TO DATE:

PERMANMENT_SUPPORTIVE_HOUSING_IMAGE

PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING SUPPORT SERVICES (HOMELESSNESS)

Under the Community COVID Housing Program, Harris County and the City of Houston have collaborated to house more than 5,000 people experiencing homelessness. To build on the success of this housing-first approach, the County approved an additional $35 million to provide housing navigation, case management, behavioral health services, and domestic violence services, with a goal of housing an additional 7,000 people.

Hay_Center_Campus_IMAGE

HAY CENTER CAMPUS

The County has allocated $5 million in ARPA funding towards the development and construction of the HAY Center campus, a 3.3-acre complex expected to provide wraparound services to 1,400 current and former foster youth every year, also featuring 50 affordable apartment units for youth aging out of foster care.

HC_SMALL_BUSINESS_RELIF_FUND_IMAGE

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The pre-employment workforce program Employ2Empower will help individuals experiencing homelessness earn income and gain support for transitioning to stable housing and employment. First piloted in Precinct 2, the program is now expanding County-wide.

OTHER RECENT COVID RELIEF HOUSING INVESTMENTS:

PERMANMENT_SUPPORTIVE_HOUSING_IMAGE

RENTAL ASSISTANCE

Harris County's rental assistance program helps vulnerable families remain housed while also supporting landlords with struggling tenants. The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been nationally recognized for its effectiveness of fund distribution, accessibility, and outreach.

LEGAL_AID_IMAGE

LEGAL AID

Harris County is funding legal aid services provided by Eviction Defense Coalition members to support families in eviction proceedings, ensuring households have access to a fair hearing and representation.

HOUSING_IMAGE

The economic impacts of COVID-19 have exacerbated pre-existing economic disparities across communities and demonstrated the clear demand for high-quality jobs. Programs under Jobs and Education intend to help families and small businesses recover from recent shocks, but also invest in workforce programs that help residents succeed in the 21st century, and provide the support that workers need in order to re-enter the economy.

ARPA JOBS & EDUCATION INVESTMENTS TO DATE:

RECOVERY_ASSISTANCE_IMAGE

HARRIS COUNTY RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

Harris County provided $1,500 cash payments to approximately 40,000 households to assist with emergency expenses incurred during the pandemic.

HC_SMALL_BUSINESS_RELIF_FUND_IMAGE

HARRIS COUNTY SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND

The County assisted 2,577 small and micro businesses deeply impacted by shutdowns by providing grants of up to $25,000 each. The funds aimed to help those in communities and industries that were hardest hit, helping pay for business expenses and spur job growth.

HC_SMALL_BUSINESS_RELIF_FUND_IMAGE

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Three investments in early childhood will benefit Harris County children, families, and caregivers. The Texas Children’s Hospital upWORDS community-based training model will support infant and toddler brain and language development. The Safe Babies program from First3Years works with families and children within the child welfare system to minimize the harm of family separation and prior maltreatment. The Alliance’s home-based childcare support program will provide training to home-based childcare providers, including helping unlicensed programs gain certification and increasing the quality of programming, care, and business operations.

HC_SMALL_BUSINESS_RELIF_FUND_IMAGE

COUNTY CONNECTIONS SUMMER PROGRAMMING

To address pandemic-related gaps in enrichment activities and related learning loss, the County has approved funding of summer programming for school-age children and college and career readiness programs for older children. Now in its second year, the initiative is expected to serve 7,000 children ages 5-18 this summer and provide safe learning spaces to combat the social insecurity and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

HC_SMALL_BUSINESS_RELIF_FUND_IMAGE

CHILD TAX CREDIT (CTC) OUTREACH

ARPA temporarily increased the CTC, providing a credit of up to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17. To help eligible families claim the CTC, the County approved a program for community outreach, non-filer form preparation assistance, and tax preparation assistance. Mobile tax assistance took the program directly into neighborhoods that needed it most, helping families claim over $13 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits.

OTHER RECENT COVID RELIEF JOBS & EDUCATION INVESTMENTS:

DIGITAL_ACCESS_IMAGE

DIGITAL ACCESS

Commissioners Court has invested in public wi-fi services at more than 100 community centers, libraries and parks, mobile wi-fi buses, LTE/5G and data services for students, and other digital access programs. Initially supporting remote learning, broadband efforts remain critical in bridging the digital divide. Free Wi-Fi locations can be found at broadband.harriscountytx.gov.

JOBS_AND EDUCATION_IMAGE

A small proportion of funds will be used to improve delivery of key county services, particularly those impacted by the pandemic.

ARPA COUNTY OPERATIONS INVESTMENTS TO DATE:

COURT_BACKLOG_IMAGE

COURT BACKLOG

The COVID-19 pandemic caused our court backlog to grow. ARPA investments such as expanding jury services, increasing court staff, establishing emergency response dockets, and accelerating evidence processing are ongoing in support of providing timely access to trials for defendants and victims.

FUTURE_IMAGE

VIPER

The Harris County Violent Persons (VIPER) Warrants Task Force, a multi-agency task force led by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with Harris County Constables, seeks to address the backlog in outstanding warrants and reduce extradition costs through accelerated execution of warrants related to the most violent offenses.

FUTURE_IMAGE

ARPA ADMINISTRATION AND CONSULTING SUPPORT

To support the selection, design, implementation, and evaluation of all projects funded by ARPA, the County has allocated funds to internal administration and consulting support. These funds are being used for strategy development, program design, execution, compliance, data and impact analysis, federal contracting, and special counsel services.

COUNTY_OPERATIONS_IMAGE
Copyright 2021 Harris County Privacy Policy & Accessibility Statement