The Federal Recovery Funds Dashboard provides a transparent and full landscape of COVID recovery spending in Illinois
CHICAGO (October 11, 2022) – The Chicago Community Trust today unveiled a first-of-its-kind dashboard that centralizes data showing how the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, and Cook County are leveraging federal COVID recovery dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to work toward an equitable and inclusive recovery in the Chicago region.
Developed with the intention of holding local leaders accountable for a more equitable and inclusive economic recovery, the Federal Recovery Funds Dashboard gives the public a view into how the combined total of $11.5 billion in federal COVID recovery dollars is allocated.
In past economic recoveries, Black and Latinx communities have not recovered at the same rate as white neighbors. Since the Great Recession of 2008, Black and Latinx communities have faced persistently high unemployment levels, lower income, and less wealth through homeownership and retirement that continue to lag as compared to their white counterparts.
“By providing additional clarity around how federal funds are being disbursed locally, we can begin to understand if we’re working toward our collective goal of an equitable and inclusive recovery,” said Andrea Sáenz, interim president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “This dashboard centralizes the data, so everyone can have access to a transparent resource to understand where the money is going and for what purpose.”
Analysis of the spending data shows that although each government entity in Illinois has allocated or appropriated all of the more flexible discretionary federal funds most of the targeted recovery dollars have not yet been spent. Each level of government has until the end of 2026 to do so.
The dashboard tracks federal funds allocated to support community investment, housing, workforce development, household investment, and community safety in the Chicago region – all vital to narrowing the wealth gap. Snapshot analysis from the dashboard:
Household Investment: Between the City of Chicago and Cook County, the region is piloting two historic guaranteed income pilot programs, putting $53 million in unrestricted direct economic assistance in the hands of low-income households to help them meet needs.
Housing: Of the $2.7 billion in housing assistance tracked in the dashboard, about half of that was appropriated directly by the federal government to fund the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Cook County supplemented funding for this program with a nearly $1.5 million appropriation from its ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Workforce Development: Comparatively, workforce development has the lowest cumulative appropriation between city, county and state, totaling 3 percent of all funds tracked in the dashboard.
Community Safety: Although Congress did not appropriate funds specifically for community safety or violence prevention, the White House did encourage state and local governments to include this in their recovery plans and leverage their discretionary funds to support this work. Therefore, the $388.5M in federal funds allocated by the City, County, and State for community safety and violence prevention came from State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Community Investment: The dashboard shows that a significant amount of funding appropriated to support small businesses has already been spent.
The dashboard includes a map that illustrates spending geographically and demographically for selected programs, giving users an opportunity to analyze whether allocations are equitable based on poverty rates and racial and ethinic breakdowns.
“The city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs have a once in a generation opportunity to build a more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Saenz. “Initiatives like the historic guaranteed income pilot programs, small business recovery funds and housing assistance funds are examples of innovative initiatives that have the potential to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap.”
“By tracking and updating this information as it becomes available, we can see where the opportunities are to rethink and transform how the government, private sector actors and philanthropy can invest in people and places and ensure that all Chicagoans can achieve economic stability and mobility through this economic recovery and beyond,” said Ianna Kachoris, senior director of policy and advocacy at The Chicago Community Trust.
The Trust will continue updating the dashboard throughout the life of recovery related spending and will be developing a set of metrics and indicators to track over time to assess if these resources are effectively narrowing the gaps between Black and Latinx households, businesses, and neighborhoods compared to their white counterparts. The dashboard will soon be updated to include federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The Federal Recovery Funds Dashboard was developed in partnership with the Urban Institute and is supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation through the Shared Prosperity Partnership.