Hogsett and Marion County leaders lay out coronavirus relief plan that includes rent assistance, expanded COVID-19 testing

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INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Joe Hogsett and other officials discussed their plans on how to use coronavirus relief funding provided by the federal government through the CARES Act.

The administration will present two plans to the City-County Council Monday night regarding that funding, which will include money from the CARES Act along with money from FEMA’s disaster program.

Marion County received $168 million in federal funding. The current plan discusses the distribution of the first $76 million of that money. Hogsett and other officials were still looking into how to spend the remaining $92 million.

Officials noted, with the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of question marks regarding how to use some of money. They’re also aware that the need is greater than the amount of money allocated.

“It is clear that these funds will be helpful, but not sufficient,” Hogsett said.

According to Hogsett, plans call for $20 million for increased COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, along with $3 million for the purchase and distribution of cloth face masks. The city previously announced a program to help residents obtain face masks at no cost to them.

The proposal includes $15 million in rent assistance for those affected by the pandemic. That money, Hogsett said, would be accessible through community centers around the county and matched by participating township trustee offices.

The Lilly Endowment is also committing $10 million to help support basic needs.

The relief package includes small business assistance intended to help businesses weather the storm and the final approval of the $5 million RESTART grant program through the Indy Chamber for PPE reimbursement plus $5 million in small business grants.

The city is working on setting up a similar $2 million PPE reimbursement program for nonprofit groups.

Here’s a look at the breakdown:

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