RACINE — On Tuesday Governor Tony Evers announced two new grant programs funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. In total, the governor said $250 million will be invested to help communities across the state rebuild and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two programs are a $200 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant and a $50 million Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grant. The governor said these investments will help to address the health disparities exasperated by the pandemic.
Local and tribal governments are eligible to apply for the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant. Examples of potential projects the grant can fund include affordable housing initiatives, transit and childcare solutions and innovative public services. The neighborhood grant emphasizes increasing services for underserved individuals and populations.
"When it comes to health equity, we know it's more than just about healthcare. Equity depends on having equitable neighborhoods and communities. Access to transportation, childcare and housing. And addressing the social determinants that impacts people's health and success," Governor Evers said at a press conference in Racine.
The Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grant will help fund programs that increase access to healthcare for low income, uninsured and underserved communities. Potential project include building new facilities in underserved areas or expanding existing facilities to serve even more people. Local and tribal governments, as wells as non-profit healthcare organizations, are eligible to apply.
"For too many people, access to affordable care, compassionate providers or an accessible clinic remain out of reach. And unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the health disparities and gaps in healthcare access that many Wisconsinites face," Evers said about why the healthcare infrastructure grant was created.
Grant funds will be administered by the Department of Administration. To receive information about the grant applications, click here.