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Wisconsin allocates $250M for new grant programs to help communities build long-term economic recovery

Governor Tony Evers announced two new competitive grant programs on August 24 to help communities across Wisconsin rebound and recover from the coronavirus pandemic by providing $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help communities build long-term, sustainable economic success.

The announcement included a $200 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program, as well as a $50 million Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment grant program for transformational capital projects that will help neighborhoods recover from the pandemic and that address the equity gap in state—like housing projects, transit and childcare solutions, and increasing access to healthcare in underserved communities.

“Wisconsin continues to rebound and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but at the end of the day, we don’t want to just recover,” said Governor Evers. “If we want to see Wisconsin’s families, communities, and economy succeed for years to come, then we need to make the investments today to build long-term, sustainable economic wellbeing for tomorrow. And what better place to make those investments than in our people and our neighborhoods so every Wisconsinite has access to the infrastructure and resources to thrive.”

Local and tribal governments will be eligible to apply for Neighborhood Investment Fund Grants to help their communities to deliver innovative public services, including new or improved facilities. Local governments could pursue new projects like workforce and entrepreneur innovation centers, affordable housing initiatives, transit and childcare solutions, or public space development, with a particular emphasis on increasing services for underserved individuals and populations.

The Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grants will provide funding to local and tribal governments or non-profit healthcare organizations to invest in capital projects that specifically support increasing access to healthcare for low income, uninsured, and underserved communities and the ability to respond to future pandemics response needs. Projects could include new or upgraded facility space that enables additional capacity for care within a community.

Both programs are funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and will be administered by the Department of Administration (DOA).

“DOA is honored to collaborate with local governments, tribal governments, and non-profit healthcare organizations on these community-enhancing grant programs,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “We know they will bring creative ideas that will lead to tremendous results.”

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Lee Matz

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