Central Square Aerial

American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Funding

What is ARPA?

The American Rescue Plan will deliver $350 billion for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs. The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments with a substantial infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, and more equitable economy as the country recovers.

What Can Funds Be Used For?

Recipients may use these funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet

Community Project Ideas

As the City considers projects and programs to be implemented using its allocation, the City wants to ensure that planned uses of the funding incorporate input and feedback from constituents, community-based organizations, and other community stakeholders. As such, residents were invited to submit initiative ideas for City consideration.

The City intends to reference submitted ideas as it continues to decide upon and shape initiatives that both address community pandemic recovery needs, while being consistent with applicable federal rules for the use of the funding.

Idea submissions from the community were accepted through Monday, May 2, 2022.

View Community Project Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the American Rescue Plan (ARPA)?

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is a federal law that was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The ARP focuses on supporting the most vulnerable communities and businesses. The law grants about $1.85 trillion in relief funding for individuals and local governments.

How much does Cambridge expect to receive?

The City of Cambridge’s ARPA allocation is $65,019,211

Are there other Federal Funds Cambridge has received?

These are the other ARPA related Federal Funds the City is receiving:

  • State ARPA funding through Middlesex County
    • $11,550,087
  • Home Investment Partnership (HOME) HOME-ARP
    • $2,325,483
  • Mass DOT Public Realm Improvement/Shared Streets and Spaces
    • $199,736

What are Eligible Costs and their Timeframe?

Funds may be used to cover eligible costs incurred during the period that begins on March 3, 2021 and ends on December 31, 2024, as long as the award funds for the obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 are expended by December 31, 2026.

Costs for projects incurred by the recipient State, territorial, local, or Tribal government prior to March 3, 2021 are not eligible, as provided for in Treasury’s Interim Final Rule.

This is a Federal Grant and is subject to all rules, guidelines, regulations and requirements like all other federal grants received by the City and is subject to Single Audit requirements.

What are the Eligible Expenditure Categories?

The Expenditure Categories (EC) listed below must be used to categorize each project. The term “Expenditure Category” refers to the detailed level (e.g., 1.1 COVID-19 Vaccination). When referred to as a category (e.g., EC 1) it includes all Expenditure Categories within that level.

  1. Public Health
    1.1 COVID-19 Vaccination ^
    1.2 COVID-19 Testing ^
    1.3 COVID-19 Contact Tracing
    1.4 Prevention in Congregate Settings (Nursing Homes, Prisons/Jails, Dense Work Sites,
    Schools, etc.)*
    1.5 Personal Protective Equipment
    1.6 Medical Expenses (including Alternative Care Facilities)
    1.7 Capital Investments or Physical Plant Changes to Public Facilities that respond to the
    COVID-19 public health emergency
    1.8 Other COVID-19 Public Health Expenses (including Communications, Enforcement,
    1.9 Payroll Costs for Public Health, Safety, and Other Public Sector Staff Responding to
    1.10 Mental Health Services*
    1.11 Substance Use Services*
    1.12 Other Public Health Services
  2. Negative Economic Impacts
    2.1 Household Assistance: Food Programs* ^
    2.2 Household Assistance: Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Aid* ^
    2.3 Household Assistance: Cash Transfers* ^
    2.4 Household Assistance: Internet Access Programs* ^
    2.5 Household Assistance: Eviction Prevention* ^
    2.6 Unemployment Benefits or Cash Assistance to Unemployed Workers*
    2.7 Job Training Assistance (e.g., Sectoral job-training, Subsidized Employment,
    Employment Supports or Incentives)* ^
    2.8 Contributions to UI Trust Funds
    2.9 Small Business Economic Assistance (General)* ^
    2.10 Aid to Nonprofit Organizations*
    2.11 Aid to Tourism, Travel, or Hospitality
    2.12 Aid to Other Impacted Industries
    2.13 Other Economic Support* ^
    2.14 Rehiring Public Sector Staff
  3. Services to Disproportionately Impacted Communities
    3.1 Education Assistance: Early Learning* ^
    3.2 Education Assistance: Aid to High-Poverty Districts ^
    3.3 Education Assistance: Academic Services* ^
    3.4 Education Assistance: Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Services* ^
    3.5 Education Assistance: Other* ^
    3.6 Healthy Childhood Environments: Child Care* ^
    3.7 Healthy Childhood Environments: Home Visiting* ^
    3.8 Healthy Childhood Environments: Services to Foster Youth or Families Involved in
    Child Welfare System* ^
    3.9 Healthy Childhood Environments: Other* ^
    3.10 Housing Support: Affordable Housing* ^
    3.11 Housing Support: Services for Unhoused Persons* ^
    3.12 Housing Support: Other Housing Assistance* ^
    3.13 Social Determinants of Health: Other* ^
    3.14 Social Determinants of Health: Community Health Workers or Benefits Navigators* ^
    3.15 Social Determinants of Health: Lead Remediation ^
    3.16 Social Determinants of Health: Community Violence Interventions* ^
  4. Premium Pay
    4.1 Public Sector Employees
    4.2 Private Sector: Grants to Other Employers
  5. Infrastructure27
    5.1 Clean Water: Centralized Wastewater Treatment
    5.2 Clean Water: Centralized Wastewater Collection and Conveyance
    5.3 Clean Water: Decentralized Wastewater
    5.4 Clean Water: Combined Sewer Overflows
    5.5 Clean Water: Other Sewer Infrastructure
    5.6 Clean Water: Stormwater
    5.7 Clean Water: Energy Conservation
    5.8 Clean Water: Water Conservation
    5.9 Clean Water: Nonpoint Source
    5.10 Drinking water: Treatment
    5.11 Drinking water: Transmission & Distribution
    5.12 Drinking water: Transmission & Distribution: Lead Remediation
    5.13 Drinking water: Source
    5.14 Drinking water: Storage
    5.15 Drinking water: Other water infrastructure
    5.16 Broadband: “Last Mile” projects
    5.17 Broadband: Other projects
  6. Revenue Replacement
    6.1 Provision of Government Services
  7. Administrative
    7.1 Administrative Expenses
    7.2 Evaluation and Data Analysis
    7.3 Transfers to Other Units of Government
    7.4 Transfers to Non-entitlement Units (States and territories only)

*Denotes areas where recipients must identify the amount of the total funds that are allocated to evidence-based interventions.

^Denotes areas where recipients must report on whether projects are primarily serving disadvantaged communities (see Project Demographic Distribution section above for details)

How do I submit requests about ARPA?

Requests about ARPA can be submitted to the City of Cambridge by email at arpa@cambridgema.gov

Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via Commonwealth Connect for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here