The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was adopted on March 27, 2020, provides billions of dollars to states, local jurisdictions, businesses, hospitals, learning institutions, and other organizations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dallas was allocated more than $243M to cushion businesses, families, students, and workers against the effects of Covid-19, prevent the spread of the novel virus, and to support economic recovery from the pandemic. As of December 16th, 2020, Dallas had spent $233 million of the allocated amount of $243 million. The deadline to spend the funds was on December 30th, 2020, after which unspent funds would be returned to the Department of Treasury.
So how did the City of Dallas use its share of CARES Act funding:
According to a report by the City Council, the City of Dallas spent $120.9 million on encouraging social distancing and other measures intended to prevent the spread of the virus. These include procuring PPE and cleaning supplies for first responders and other staff, Covid-19 testing, and helping the homeless with social distancing.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the exact amounts that were spent on public health and safety by the City of Dallas:
- Homeless assistance -$13.5M
- Testing- $23.9M
- Procurement of PPEs-$12M
- Procurement of cleaning supplies- $8M
- Communication- $3.5
- Related payroll expenses – 60M
A total of $31.7 million was spent on providing resources and tools to residents, businesses, and nonprofits affected by Covid-19. Small businesses affected by the pandemic received $2 million in grants and loans. The maximum loan amount was set at $50,000 and the maximum grant amount at $15,000. A total of $2.5 million was spent on food security, child care providers, and social service programs. The city spent $10 million on bridging the digital divide and $2 million on cultural/recreational facility assistance.
Dallas spent 81.8 million to provide services to residents according to the “Return to Work” plan, using technology. Under this category, the city spent $22 million on city facility retrofits, $25 million on employee tools (ITS) and residents doing business online received $5 million in grants. $28.8 million was spent on related payroll expenses under the service delivery category.
The city of Dallas allocated $4,050,000 for rental assistance to eligible communities and households impacted by Covid-19. Under the Covid-19 Rent Relief Program, the city opened enrollment for this program on August 24, 2020. The funds were split among the city’s 14 council districts with first priority given to undeserved neighborhoods and populations. Landlords were allowed to apply on behalf of their residents and they could receive up to $3,000 per eligible family.
The city also allocated $9,752,932 of CARES Act funding for direct emergency financial aid to students impacted by the pandemic. Under the CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Grant, the funds benefited thousands of eligible students.
By the end of 2020, the City of Dallas had around $10 million left to spend. Since the deadline to spend the funds has already passed, the remaining funds will have to be returned to the Department of Treasury, unless the federal government extends the deadline further.