Laserfiche WebLink
May 24, 2021 <br />Mayor Vicente Sarmiento <br />Santa Ana City Council <br />20 Civic Center Plaza <br />Santa Ana, CA 92701 <br />www.kennedycommission. org <br />17701 Cowan Ave., Suite200 <br />Irvine, CA 92614 <br />949 250 0909 <br />RE: City of Santa Ana — American Rescue Plan Act Priorities for Affordable Housing <br />Dear Mayor Sarmiento and Councilmembers: <br />The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on communities of color and low-income communities <br />highlighted the disparities that exist in Orange County. The hardest hit community in OC has <br />been the City of Santa Ana. The pandemic has highlighted the need for more support of our <br />public health system and safety -net programs in Santa Ana, so that they have the infrastructure <br />to respond to any future and likely pandemics. <br />While the Hispanic community represents 35 percent of the County population, they <br />represented 47 percent of COVID-19 cases and 38 percent of COVID deaths. For every dollar of <br />median household income of Orange County's White population, there is 73 cents for Latino <br />Americans. The higher proportion of deaths and cases in Santa Ana called out the vulnerability <br />of our low wage essential workers, the overcrowded housing conditions that exist and the lack <br />of affordable housing for low-income families in Santa Ana. <br />The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 recently passed by the U.S. Congress and signed <br />by President Joseph R. Biden presents a one-time opportunity to ensure that Santa Ana <br />residents will be able to recover from the impact of the recent pandemic and put residents in a <br />stronger position when future pandemics occur. It also presents an opportunity for <br />transformation, rather than return to the status quo. The Kennedy Commission requests <br />that the Santa Ana City Council make a significant investment to help facilitate and <br />increase affordable housing for Santa Ana's low-income families. <br />We would like the Council to consider the following principles when allocating ARPA <br />funding: <br />Invest significant ARPA funding to accelerate the development of affordable housing <br />developments to decrease overcrowding and increase affordable housing options. <br />Use equity to guide decision making ensuring that those most impacted by the will have <br />the underlying issues addressed and close inequity gaps for low-income residents. <br />Leverage state, county and local funding in ARPA to have a greater impact. <br />The ARPA provides Sanat Ana residents the opportunity to come out of the pandemic more <br />resilient, more equitable and better prepared to deal with future pandemics. We encourage <br />that the City invest ARPA funds to increase affordable housing for Santa Ana residents. <br />Sincerely, <br />Cesar Covarrubias <br />Executive Director <br />