TAMPA — The COVID-19 relief bill approved by U.S. House of Representatives includes about $285 million in relief for Hillsborough County and a separate $80 million allocation for the city of Tampa, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said Wednesday.
Castor, speaking remotely from Washington D.C. to the Hillsborough County Commission, complimented the county government on how it handled its earlier allocation.
“Because it was so transparent and because it was so impactful on the lives of our neighbors, it made it easy for me to say to my colleagues here in Washington, “Yes, we need to sustain another round of emergency support for our community,’ ” Castor said.
Hillsborough received nearly $257 million in April 2020 for the three cities and the unincorporated areas as part of the from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The county has disbursed nearly $241 million and is on track to spend an additional $7.3 million by the end of this month. The balance, $8.5 million, will be saved for high priority needs, the county said.
The county focused on 13 areas, and information presented to commissioners Wednesday detailed some of the spending, including:
- More than $93.5 million went to 5,659 businesses.
- The city of Tampa received $30 million, $6 million went to Temple Terrace and $2.9 million to Plant City.
- Housing and utility assistance totaled $34.1 million to 6,854 recipients and $1 million is still set aside for water customers with past-due balances.
- Non-profit agencies and day cares received $9.2 million under three separate programs.
The new $1.9 trillion relief bill is under consideration by the U.S. Senate. Castor called it “life-changing for American families, especially here in Hillsborough County.”
Among the provisions are additional aid for rental assistance, she said.
“We know that landlords need to get paid. It’s not good enough just having a moratorium on evictions. Landlords need to keep up their properties, so this will help,” she said.
Separately, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided additional emergency rental assistance including $32.4 million to Hillsborough County and $12 million to the city of Tampa. Wednesday, commissioners voted to officially accept that federal aid.
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