The Human Services Chamber has asked City Council to invest $75 Million of the $291 million it receives in American Rescue Plan funding to expand affordable housing and strengthen the human services sector to help residents recover from the economic and personal blows of the pandemic.
The proposal, co-sponsored by Council Members Mann and Kearney, would direct $50 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $25 million to flexible operating grants to human services nonprofits. The proposal asks that the funding be allocated through a competitive and transparent process.
“The nonprofit human services sector is a critical part of the social infrastructure of our City, helping our residents in times of need,” said Gina Marsh, Executive Director. “Unfortunately, because of funding losses and increased demand for services and essentials, many of these organizations are lacking revenue and staff at a time when our community needs them most.”
According to a recent report from University of Cincinnati’s Kautz-Uible Economics Institute, Cincinnati-based human services organizations lost 760 jobs between February 2020 and September 2020. Assuming a modest $15/hour, these job losses are valued at over $23 million annually.
The Human Services Chamber proposal also requests $50 million to expand affordable housing so that residents can recover from the pandemic. The City is currently short thousands of affordable housing units for lower income residents. This means some of the hardest hit households have to spend more on rent, leaving them unable to afford essentials such as groceries and prescription drugs.
“A strong human services sector and expanded affordable housing will be key to our community’s recovery,” said Gina Marsh.
The Human Services Chamber of Hamilton County is a nonprofit public policy research and advocacy organization comprised of over 75 human services organizations. The Human Services Chamber is committed to advocating for public policies that promote the well being of all Hamilton County residents.