Equitable Recovery Commission Issues Recommended Framework for Chattanooga’s American Rescue Plan Investments

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Mayor Tim Kelly to consider commission’s recommendations and begin taking next steps on Friday

Chattanooga, Tenn. (Tuesday, April 26) — The Chattanooga Equitable Recovery Commission on Monday presented its recommended framework to Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly for the investment of $30 million from the American Rescue Plan.

The commission developed the framework by using strategic priority areas and incorporating examples of the investment types that members believe can help stimulate long-term prosperity in the city, filling gaps that are remnants of an imperfect legacy. In its work, the commission acknowledged that some of the city’s communities have been historically neglected and require intentional focus and investments — investments that can lead to a more just and prosperous Chattanooga.While $30 million is not enough to bridge all gaps that exist in Chattanooga, it still represents a significant opportunity to fund transformative projects, the commission said. And over the past four months, members of the commission have engaged in many hours of robust discussions on how to best invest in an equitable, robust recovery.

In its framework, the Equitable Recovery Commission first analyzed Mayor Tim Kelly’s One Chattanooga strategy, and from there recommended a single goal — catalyzing the economic growth of the Black community — serve as its primary objective.

“Our research showed that the Black community in Chattanooga was disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of COVID-19,” said Commissioner Lakweshia Ewing. “We appreciate Mayor Kelly’s continued commitment to honoring his campaign promises by investing $30 million of ARPA funding into community-based initiatives that address the inequities that have existed for generations.” 

As the main objective, or “hub” of this investment framework, the commission recommended that every application for funding should incorporate this goal within both its scope of work, as well as in its impact.

To help spur economic growth in Chattanooga’s neighborhoods, the commission recommended funding projects which fall into the following four priority areas:

Ensure accessible housing for all Chattanoogans

Build a universal path to early learning and provide high-quality childcare

Close the gaps in public health

Build a competitive regional economy

“I want to first acknowledge the hard work by the members of the Equitable Recovery Commission, who took on the tough discussions, put in the long hours and performed the diligent research required to produce a framework of this magnitude,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “My team and I look forward to reviewing it and leveraging it to inform our notice of funding opportunity later this week.”

Next steps include a formal notice of funding opportunity, technical assistance for applicants, and final application deadlines.

The formal notice of funding opportunity will be made available at Recovery.Chattanooga.gov on Friday, April 29. 

The city will host a virtual applicant information session on May 3 at 1 p.m. to provide technical assistance for applicants. 

Register at https://tinyurl.com/ARPATA

The session will be recorded and posted online to Recovery.Chattanooga.gov

An additional in-person applicant information session for technical assistance is scheduled for May 9 at 5 p.m. at a location that will be announced on Recovery.Chattanooga.gov. 

The final date to submit applications is currently set for June 3 at 5 p.m. 

Notices of intent to award to be released in early July.

The ARP spending plan is contingent on City Council approval.

The Equitable Recovery Commission was established to ensure Chattanooga’s fund allocation process is administered with integrity and accountability, through an equity lens. The Commission was composed of six members selected by the Mayor’s Office, three members nominated by the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, and three members nominated by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.