American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA)

Versión en Español 

Exacerbating underlying racial, public health, and economic inequities, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted Chelsea.  As conditions begin to stabilize due to the laudable efforts of our community, it is imperative that the City start planning for equitable recovery actions that promote prosperity for all in Chelsea. Accomplishing this momentous task of recovery will require true collaboration, planning, and foresight. 

What is ARPA funding?

Signed into effect by President Biden on March 11, 2021, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) seeks to help the country recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, providing emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.  

The City of Chelsea is expected to receive a total of approximately $40 million, and $15 million of these funds will be dedicated to community initiatives identified during a community decision-making process. The City strives to work hand-in-hand with the community to hear from residents, small businesses, and community leaders on how these funds from the ARPA should be used. Additionally, the City and its community partners will aggressively pursue additional funding opportunities that will become available through ARPA and any additional relief legislation.  

Community Advisory Committee

The City of Chelsea established an ARPA Community Advisory Committee of community stakeholders and residents to produce a final Allocation Plan. This committee consists of 20 members: two City Councilors, nine Executives from our active Community-Based Organizations, and nine unaffiliated residents selected through a self-nomination process.

The Community Advisory Committee will evaluate all of the information provided through the community engagement process and, based upon that community input, determine priorities for ARPA spending and ultimately make recommendations for allocating the funds between areas such as affordable housing, food security, entrepreneurship and small business assistance, workforce development including child care and digital access, mental and behavioral health, and environmental investments.  The Committee is charged with identifying areas where one-time investments can have long-term benefits to our residents and community.

Health Resources in Action will support this effort by providing professional facilitation and advisory services.  

ARPA Committee members 

  • Roseann Bongiovanni - GreenRoots
  • Jenny Camacho - Small Business Owner
  • Susana Carella - Resident
  • Joan Cromwell - Chelsea Black Community
  • Richelle Cromwell - Community Action Program Inter-City
  • Cara Cogliano - Chelsea Community Connections Coalition
  • Richard Gordon - Small Business Owner
  • Rosa Lopez - Resident
  • Rafael Mares - TND
  • Alice Murillo - Bunker Hill Community College
  • Paul Nowicki, Chelsea Chamber of Commerce
  • Mohamud Qasim - Resident
  • Edgard Romero - Resident and Small Business Owner
  • Mayra Romero - Resident and Small Business Owner
  • Amanda Rosario - Resident
  • Scott Scherffenberg, ROCA
  • Todd Taylor   - District 1 Councillor
  • Gladys Vega - La Colaborativa
  • Wendy Velazquez - Resident
  • Naomi Zabot - District 3 Councillor

ARPA Community Engagement Schedule

ARPA Community Engagement Schedule - Updated on 11/30

Action Item 


Documents & Video 

Chelsea Cable Show

Sept. 28, 2021City Manager Update Recording

Community Advisory Committee #1 

Sept. 29, 2021 

Chelsea Community Meeting #1 (Presentation)

Chelsea Community Meeting #1 (Recording)

Chelsea City Council Meeting 

Oct. 28

City Council Sub-Committee Recording

Focus Group A -  Housing 

by November 


Focus Group B - Food Security 

by November 


Focus Group C - Small Business 

by November 


Focus Group D - Workforce Development

by November 


Community Advisory Committee #2 

November 3rd, 2021

Chelsea Community Meeting #2 (Presentation)

Chelsea Community Meeting #2 (Recording)

Resident Survey 



Community Leader Interviews 

Prior to each topic date


Focus Group E - Environment & Open Space

by November  

Focus Group F - Mental & Behavioral Health 

by November  

Community Advisory Committee Meeting #3 

November 17th, 2021

Chelsea Community Meeting #3 (Presentation)

Chelsea Community Meeting #3 (Recording)

Community Advisory Committee Meeting #4

Dec. 1st , 2021

Chelsea Community Meeting #4 (Presentation)
Planning for ESSER III Grant Funds (Presentation)

Community Advisory Committee Meeting #5

Jan 19, 2022


Community Advisory Committee Meeting #6

Feb 2, 2022


City Council Meeting

Subcommittee to be requested 


Public Meeting

Feb 9, 2022


Community Advisory Committee Meeting #7

Feb 16th, 2022


Draft & Final Allocation Plan 

Feb 27th, 2022


Eligible Uses of Funding

ARPA funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Eligible uses of ARPA funding include:

  • Supporting urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control
  • Replacing lost revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs
  • Providing assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries and communities hardest hit by COVID-19
  • Investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

For more information about how funds can be used, go to the US Department of the Treasury Quick Reference Guide.

City of Chelsea Expected Funding

The City of Chelsea expects to receive a total of $40,323,106 from the American Rescue Plan Act over the course of the next year.

  • $28,459,494 – provided directly by Governor Baker from the State ARPA allocation based upon the disproportionate impact of COVID in Chelsea.
  • $4,154,295 – direct payment to the City from ARPA.
  • $7,709,317– the City of Chelsea’s per capita share of funds distributed by ARPA to Suffolk County, which no longer functions as a county government. 

Fund Distribution Process 

ARPA funds to Chelsea will be segregated into two categories by the City. 

Local Government 
Approximately $25 million is expected to offset lost revenues that the City will incur due to the pandemic, including reduced revenues from hotel room excise taxes and motor vehicle excise taxes due to the impacts on Logan Airport and the travel industry.  These ARPA funds to restore lost revenues will be utilized by the City both to support its general operating budget and to fund the City’s Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. 

Community Fund Allocation
The remaining $15 million will be dedicated toward initiatives and priorities developed by the community following a robust community engagement effort.  This effort will identify the City’s most urgent needs in areas such as:

  • Housing (prioritizing eviction prevention, anti-displacement, and minority homeownership initiatives)
  • Food Security
  • Workforce Development (prioritizing digital access and child care and early childhood education initiatives)
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
  • Environmental Health & Open Space
  • Behavioral & Mental Health

The utilization of these funds will be a multi-year process and will:

  • Prioritize investments with potential for long-term impact
  • Institutionalize equity
  • Maximize opportunities for those most impacted
  • Leverage additional funding sources to increase benefits for residents and small businesses
  • Increase social capital and resilience
  • Identify barriers and fill gaps
  • Seed social infrastructure
  • Build impact assessment into all programs

If you have questions, please email or call 617-466-4209.