A photo of Cleveland Chief Financial Officer Ahmed Abonamah discussing federal stimulus money at the May 31, 2023 May 31 Cleveland City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.
Cleveland Chief Financial Officer Ahmed Abonamah discusses federal stimulus money. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Kellie Morris and Tim Zelina

Forgivable loans: At Cleveland City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, council revisited a conversation about legislation to create a $5 million fund for home repair and rehab loans for the southeast side. Council Member Jasmin Santana asked how city officials plan to tackle the possibility of gentrification. City officials said they will prioritize funding for existing residents, as opposed to using the loans to entice newcomers. Loans will also be forgivable if a person stays in a home for a certain period of time. The hope is that this will incentivize people to stay in a home rather than flip it and sell it.

No ARPA clawback: Chief Financial Officer Ahmed Abonamah asked council members to transfer the maximum amount of remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA funds), nearly $141 million, to the Strategic Priority Subfund. Though Cleveland’s ARPA funds are not at risk of being  “clawed back” under the federal government’s debt relief plans, Abonamah said this transfer would provide an abundance of protection. Putting the money into the subfund counts as spending it for ARPA purposes, he said. The money can still only be used for ARPA priorities, such as housing and education.

Clearing the backlog: Council members worked through a slate of legislation. Some items council discussed – and then passed later that day – included:

Wondering how local government can use money placed in the Strategic Priority Subfund? Check out the uses City Council approved here.

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Tim Zelina:

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