The St. Louis
Under the American Recovery Plan, the City of St. Louis will receive $500 million in federal relief over the next year, a significant investment by any standard. This is the direct result of the disproportionate challenges our city is facing – poverty, economic stagnation, housing decay and population loss.
This is a once-in-a-century opportunity not only to address the short-term budget crisis but also to invest in our city’s future and create a long-term strategy for growth. The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated.
If I’m elected mayor, I will put this money to work immediately, re-opening businesses devastated by COVID, supporting our families through mortgage and rental assistance, addressing issues of the most vulnerable: our unhoused, those experiencing drug addiction and other immediate needs.
In addition to these immediate needs, we must also recognize this is an unprecedented opportunity to change the course of our city by investing for the long term like our city has never done before. My goal will be to position our community for lasting empowerment and growth.
We cannot realize this opportunity if our leaders continue to cut insider deals and award no-bid contracts and attempt to privatize public assets. We have to turn the page on such cronyism and do it now. My preliminary plan for this funding below outlines how it will benefit the people of St. Louis.
DRAFT INVESTMENT PLAN
Housing Stabilization. This multi-million dollar program will help address the key drivers of the large federal package: age of housing and growth lag by investing in the long-term health of our housing market. Our goal will be reducing vacancy, keeping low-income families in place, and preparing our crumbling city-owned properties for investment. This program will be applicable in areas that have been traditionally dis-invested, with 65% overall allocation targeted in north St. Louis.
- Home Ownership/Down-payment Program. Up to $15,000 with a preference to current city residents. Goal: 1,000 new homeowners.
- Home Repair Program. Up to $15,000 per home, enabling lower to moderate-income homeowners to make repairs to their homes. Goal: 2,000 homes repaired.
- Land Reutilization Authority Stabilization. Up to $25,000 per building to protect and stabilize LRA properties, including weatherproofing, structural, and roofing needed to make the buildings marketable. Goal: half of LRA buildings.
- Gut Rehab Assistance. Up to $50,000 per home, up to 25% of sale price. Goal: 1,000 fully rehabbed homes.
Workforce Empowerment. This multi-million dollar investment in preparing our secondary students for the workforce by investing in their future.
- Further Education Grants. Up to $2,000 for every income qualifying graduate of a public school for up to 4 years of college or trade school in the St. Louis region for the next 4 years.
- Internship/Apprenticeship Program. Up to $5,000 for paid training programs to include work-based learning aligning educational programs and workforce needs.
- Repurpose Vacant School Buildings. Up to $1.5 million per building for developing empty school buildings to serve the community in a manner congruent with their intended purpose.
Local Business Support. This multi-million dollar program will help jump-start our local economy and prepare us for growth. Supporting local businesses is an investment in jobs and the future.
- Local Business Assistance. Up to $10,000 per small business with fewer than 20 employees located in areas that have been traditionally dis-invested, with 65% overall allocation targeted in north St. Louis.
- New Business Growth Program. Grants of up to $15,000 per startup or early-stage businesses which are headquartered in the city or which move into the city from anywhere.
Maximizing the opportunity to invest this influx of money will depend on not just where we invest, but how we do it. We must ensure that the process of spending these funds is fully open and transparent. I will have zero tolerance for insider deals, no-bid contracts to political insiders and continued attempts to privatize public assets for the benefit of private companies.
My pledge to St. Louis is this: We will meet this moment together. We will build trust through transparency. We will turn the page on cronyism and insider deals. We will turn back the current financial crisis. Throughout this, we will build the better city we all want.
*Use of funds for these purposes are subject to federal guidelines.