L.A. County CARES Act Spending Plan Provides $1.22 Billion to Fund Broad Range of COVID-19 Services and Support for Residents and Businesses
The Board of Supervisors has approved a $1.22 billion spending package to fund a broad range of essential services and relief measures to assist people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The plan covers spending in four main areas:
- $656 million for public health measures including testing and contact tracing
- $200 million for financial support for residents in the form of assistance for rent relief, food and child care
- $160 million in grants to support small businesses
- $150 million to support the County workforce’s response to the emergency, including disaster services workers and personal protective equipment for employees
The plan also includes nearly $55 million to cover contingencies including potential health care system surges and other urgent needs that may emerge as the pandemic continues.
The comprehensive spending proposal allocates funding across a wide range of services. Major allocations include $226 million for community-based COVID-19 diagnostic testing and $100 million for rent relief to assist residents countywide.
Funds were also allocated to programs to assist vulnerable people during the crisis, including $148 million for Project Roomkey, which provides temporary housing to medically at-risk people experiencing homelessness.
Other allocations include $10 million allocated to the L.A. Regional Food Bank for food distribution events; $60 million to support other nutritional programs; $15 million for the Great Plates delivery program for seniors and medically at-risk adults; and $15 million for child care vouchers for low-income families and essential workers.
“This funding comes at a critical time for Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “This plan addresses our ability to provide essential services, expand testing, contact tracing and meet tangible needs for working families and small businesses who are struggling and increasing bearing the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“$1.22 billion is a lot of money, but it isn’t enough for a County as large as ours. We must maximize each precious dollar by investing resources in our communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to years of systemic inequities that have left them chronically underinvested and underserved,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “The CARES Act funding plan will ramp up our testing and contact tracing, enhance our food assistance programs, and provide much-needed rent relief and eviction defense to vulnerable residents. In addition, we made provisions to allocate grants to local small businesses to help them comply with worker protection requirements. I will continue advocating that CARES Act funding be directed to our most disadvantaged communities that have historically been denied access to resources and services.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas added, “From COVID-19 testing and isolation, to rental subsidies and small business assistance, it is imperative that our COVID-19 relief strategies break down the racial disparities and longstanding systemic and structural inequities that limit access to health and wealth. By doing so, we can help communities not only recover but thrive.”
“It’s extremely important that the County make these commitments to our emergency health response, including strengthening our testing and contact tracing efforts, as well as for rent relief and to bolster and sustain our food security programs,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “COVID-19 has knocked many vulnerable residents to their knees, and these investments will allow us to continue to help people as we work to bring the pandemic under control.”
“L.A. County is the ultimate safety net and more people need our help than ever before. This funding is going to help residents pay their rent, get food to communities in need, and help small businesses keep their doors open,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “ I have challenged the County to meet this moment and I will continue to do so as this crisis continues.”
For a full list of program allocations, click here.