Funding for Gainesville’s $ 32 million US bailout: the proposals, explained



US bailout, promulgated by President Joseph R. Biden on March 11, offers town of Gainesville $ 32 million to address a multitude of pandemic issues and needs. The city is sifting through dozens of proposals that would direct federal funds to additional social services, the local economy, housing and a host of infrastructure projects.

The final US bailout funding community feedback session will be held Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. ET. Participants must register in advance for the session using this link.

Over 60 proposals have been submitted to the city to date. The complete collection of proposals can be viewed and downloaded here. The following is a summary of the five most expensive proposals in each category.

The City of Gainesville Commission is expected to receive the proposals and comments at its July 15 meeting, with a decision on some proposals to follow.

The Pine Meadows public housing complex in East Gainesville on June 2, 2021. The complex is operated by the Gainesville Housing Authority. (Photo by Walter Harwood / WUFT News)


• Energy efficiency and environment: Five separate proposals call for spending more than $ 24 million to improve the energy efficiency of homes and increase the weatherization of homes in the region.

• Low-income housing: The “Low Income / Very Low Income Affordable Housing Strategy Fund” would provide $ 8 million in funding to create a community land trust, provide grants to real estate developers who built low income housing , would provide funds to renovate and repair existing housing and funds for housing vouchers.

• Community land trust: This two-part proposal would provide $ 5 million to create and fund a community land trust to “support affordable housing” and “prevent displacement.”

• Rent debt relief: The $ 5 million proposal, described in city documents as “a homeless prevention program,” would provide assistance to those in arrears with rent. The aim is to reduce the number of local evictions, in accordance with moratoriums on local, state and national evictions.

The program would target “low and very low income neighbors” who contracted their rental debt between April 2020 and July 2021.

• GRACE market and awareness: Two proposals, totaling $ 3.2 million, would provide GRACE Marketplace campus and street outreach teams with additional funding to improve and expand a variety of services.

The plan calls for a “public health nurse pilot program” to improve health resources for people with inadequate access to health care. The proposals also call for a “pilot law enforcement program” to shorten response times to GRACE – the plan also calls for further “affordable housing development.”

Economic proposals:

• $ 1,000 direct credit on GRU invoices: This proposal would provide direct payments to people with unpaid GRU utility balances and to people whose electricity has been cut multiple times.

• National Center for Arts, Technology; Professional training day in Manchester Bidwell: This professional training day is already in the planning phase. The proposal says that $ 2.5 million in funding from the US bailout would speed up the project schedule and allow for the creation of additional vocational training and after-school programs.

• Remission of utility debt: This utility proposal would use $ 1 million in US bailout funding to write off all GRU utility debts accumulated by people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Participatory call for tenders: This proposal would use $ 2 million in funding to create a participatory budgeting system, through which Gainesville residents could directly decide how to spend part of the city’s budget.

• Replacement of revenue for general administration: The revenue replacement proposal would use $ 1.25 million in funding to replace revenue lost by the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trucks using Interstate 75 on June 2, 2021, as seen from the Celebration Point Avenue overpass. (Photo by Walter Harwood / WUFT News)


Note: Infrastructure proposals are for transportation, broadband, healthcare, food distribution, and capital projects.

• Broadband extension: Two proposals call for the expansion of the city’s broadband Internet infrastructure. One is to spend $ 15 million over two years to expand fiber-optic internet to low-income neighborhoods and properties owned by the Gainesville Housing Authority. The other proposal calls for a total investment of $ 13 million in broadband infrastructure.

• Improvements to the citizens’ terrain: The $ 5 million proposal would provide additional funding to already planned improvements to Citizens Field, transforming the land into “a modern mixed-use destination.”

• Improve the built environment of the city: This proposal provides for $ 4.5 million to “directly address support for the recovery of the downtown hotel industry and road safety.” Southwest 1st Avenue would be redesigned as a pedestrian mall and high-hazard roads would be redesigned as “complete streets,” improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

• Grocery store on the east side: According to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, East Gainesville is a food desert. This $ 3.3 million proposal would help fund an additional grocery store on the east side of Gainesville.

• Extension of the CRP program: This $ 3 million proposal would expand Gainesville’s community paramedical resource program. An additional proposal would provide $ 600,000 to the CRP to purchase additional equipment and expand its services.

• Infinite loop : The Infinity Loop is a proposed project to link the north-south cycling and pedestrian paths of Gainesville. This proposal would provide $ 3 million in funding to improve cycling infrastructure in Gainesville.

Social services:

• Provision of social services through community partners and partner support: This $ 4.5 million proposal would provide direct emergency support to homeless people in Gainesville by helping housing agencies, funding utility payment plans, and increasing funding for homeless shelters and proximity centers such as GRACE Marketplace and Peaceful Paths.

Funding requested by this proposal:

  • Peaceful Paths will receive $ 225,000
  • Family promise would receive $ 500,000
  • GRACE Marketplace would receive $ 1.45 million.
  • $ 1.26 million would be used to fund emergency housing vouchers.
  • Catholic charities would receive approximately $ 1 million to make GRU payments on behalf of low and very low income people currently on GRU payment plan status.

• Aid to local non-profit associations: Several proposals would provide funds to local nonprofit organizations. A proposal, totaling $ 2.5 million, would provide funding to organizations that provide assistance to former incarcerated people, low- and very low-income people, undocumented immigrants and displaced people by violence. The funding would also help organizations focus on preventing violence and food insecurity.

The nonprofit capacity building proposal provides funding of $ 200,000 to develop additional buildings in existing nonprofits.

The nonprofit assistance proposal would provide $ 2 million in grants to nonprofits that serve marginalized and underserved communities.

Two separate proposals would provide a total of $ 1 million in funding to nonprofits that support local immigrants and undocumented residents.

• Access language: Two proposals deal with linguistic accessibility. The first would provide $ 1 million in funding to increase multilingual access to city services.

The GINI-Language Access proposal would provide $ 1 million to address the “linguistic and literacy diversity of its neighbors to achieve greater equity and inclusion of limited English speakers”.

• Green Point : According to the proposal, Verde Point is a plan to purchase and adapt “an abandoned building in our city to be turned into a sustainable development center…”. The cost of this proposal has not yet been determined, but plans call for the building to have food. kiosks, a theater, offices and subsidized apartments for seniors.


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