Economic Recovery

Article excerpt

With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 now law, NLC is working to help cities make the most of the new federal dollars available and leverage them with local resources to benefit their communities.

The upcoming Congressional City Conference will focus on the recovery package through workshops focused on key elements of the bill and keynote speeches from cabinet officials instrumental in implementing the legislation.

NLC TV, NLC's Interact TV channel, is also conducting webcasts on economic recovery. The next webcast, Implementation of the Economic Recovery Act: Funding for Highways, Roads, Bridges and Transit, will take place Wednesday, March 11, at 3 p.m. EDT. For more information and to register, see www.nlc.org. A prior webcast providing an overview of the act is archived on www.nlctv.org.

NLC's website, www.nlc.org, also includes a number of resources and questions-and-answers about the act.

NLC worked hard in lobbying for an economic recovery bill that included funds to invest in the nation's infrastructure and families, and ensured that state and local governments have readily available access to the capital markets.

This special report focuses on programs in those key areas in the recovery bill. While many cities can not get direct access to this federal funding, they can apply to state programs to help families and individuals in their communities gain access to jobs and funds as a result of the bill.

The following is a listing of key programs aimed at creating jobs by investing in neighborhoods, families and infrastructure, improving the environment, preventing crime and improving the finances of local governments.

Select Key Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

To create jobs and safeguard investment in our neighborhoods and communities. Community development projects are powerful vehicles for economic recovery because they create jobs where they are needed most and lead to lasting neighborhood benefits.

Above all, these investments help neighborhoods that have experienced the brunt of the current economy.

Community Development

* to strengthen our cities: $1 billion for Community Development Block Grant program

* to ease the burden of vacant and foreclosed properties on local governments: $2 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization Program

* to finance the construction of affordable rental housing: $2.25 billion for Tax Credit Assistance Program

* to provide rental assistance for families: $2.25 billion in Section 8 funding

* to renovate and repair public housing units: $4 billion for Public Housing Capital Fund

* to identify and remove lead paint from homes: $100 million for Lead Hazard Elimination program

* to raise capital to invest in low-income neighborhoods: $10 billion in additional New Markets Tax Credits

* to invest in areas that have significant poverty, unemployment or home foreclosures: $10 billion for New Recovery Zone Bonds and $15 billion for Recovery Zone Facility Bonds

To create jobs and modernize our transportation and communication systems. To build a 21st century economy, we must rebuild our aging infrastructure. Investing in roads, bridges, transit and waters will put people to work today while saving commuters and shippers' time and money tomorrow, as well as reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

By undertaking road and sidewalk improvements that enhance the ability of local residents to walk and bike in their neighborhood we also build stronger communities.

Local governments own and operate 75 percent of the nation's highway and road network, 90 percent of the nation's transit systems and almost 300,000 bridges.

All levels of government must work together to ensure the country has the transportation systems to ensure the long-term vitality of our local, regional and national economies, while strengthening the nation's competitive position in the world. …