NLC’s Weekly Advocacy Update – The American Rescue Plan Implementation Update

Federal agencies continue to release guidance and funding for programs under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help communities respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The National League of Cities (NLC) is here to answer questions and support your responsible stewardship of these critical funding opportunities with tools and guidance. We encourage you to visit our FAQ page regularly for the latest updates and to submit additional questions.

Here is how you can take action:

American Rescue Plan Act – Guidance, Funding and Updates as of April 30th
Tele-Town Hall: Understanding EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule and Financing Opportunities
Rebuilding for Everyone: Local Leaders Focus on Equitable Infrastructure

Response and Recovery

What Small Cities Need To Know to Access ARPA Local Relief Funds
The American Rescue Plan Act local relief funds that will go to cities should be released no later than May 10, 2021, creating a short amount of time for smaller cities to get ready to receive the funds. Learn more and be prepared.

Six Do’s and Don’ts for Local Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
In March 2021, one of every six renters had fallen behind on rent payments. Without the direct intervention of state and local governments under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the risk is high for increasing homelessness and permanent losses of affordable housing. View new guidance for local governments, created in partnership with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

How Local Leaders Can Help Residents Access the Emergency Broadband Benefit
On May 12, qualifying households will be able to start applying for the $50 monthly broadband subsidy through the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. View new resources from the Federal Communications Commission for local governments to use to keep their communities informed about how to access the benefit.

FEMA Assistance for Reopening Municipal Government Programs
On April 5, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued the framework, policy details, and requirements for determining the eligibility of safe opening and operation work and costs under the Public Assistance Program.

Help is Here For You!
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was enacted to help stabilize households, businesses and government operations. The White House has developed a one-pager that city leaders can share with their residents so that they are informed of the programs that will help them directly. Additional resources related to key ARPA programs:


Join in the White House’s Social Infrastructure Day of Action on Thursday, May 6th
This Thursday, May 6, elected officials across the country will be posting to social media to share their highest priority infrastructure projects and highlighting the urgent need to pass the American Jobs Plan, a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure to make America more competitive and help create 19 million jobs. The American Jobs Plan has all the elements that NLC asked for in our priorities to Congress and a whole lot more. Take action on social media! Tag @leagueofcities if you want a retweet and use hashtags #RebuildWithUs and #AmericanJobsPlan

Buffalo Mayor Gives Congress Pointers on Infrastructure and American Competitiveness
Last week, Mayor Byron W. Brown of Buffalo, New York, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee Hearing on Advancing U.S. Economic Competitiveness, Equity, and Sustainability Through Infrastructure Investments. Read the the top takeaways from Mayor Brown for Committee members who are charged with developing the funding mechanisms for an infrastructure package.

Rebuilding for Everyone: Local Leaders Focus on Equitable Infrastructure
Infrastructure can be a powerful connector in a community, but unfortunately, it has been used to divide America in the past. On May 11 at 2:00 PM ET, join America’s local leaders as we share our work to rebuild and our goals for Washington to bring forward a bipartisan infrastructure package that reaches everyone.

CISA Eliminates Fee for .gov Website Domain
In response to advocacy from small local governments, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has eliminated all fees for use of the .gov domain by governmental entities, to make it easier for small communities to transition to the more-secure domain.