Grants for Tribes: $32.5 Billion Available Through the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, includes $32.5 billion in aid specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal government programs.

ARPA funding is intended to help Tribes:

  • Support COVID-19 public health response
  • Lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery
  • Address revenue losses attributed to the pandemic
  • Provide aid to cover costs incurred while responding to the public health emergency

Below, learn about the $32.5 billion available for Tribes and the $166 billion allocated to federal agencies—which Tribal governments, organizations, and individuals are eligible to receive. Each award will have unique qualification requirements, application processes, and eligible expenses and activities.

Qualify for Available ARPA Funding

Various federal agencies are distributing ARPA funding, in addition to funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and previous Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) payments from the US Department of the Treasury.

To secure aid, Tribes will need to develop a strategic plan for utilizing these funds in an effective, coordinated manner that will provide long-term benefits to the community.

Qualifying Programs

Many of these funds provide aid to health care programs that directly respond to COVID-19, such as vaccination, diagnostic testing, and contact tracing.

However, the available funds aren’t limited to health care programs. There are also programs as diverse as broadband connectivity, housing, education, potable water access, mental health, child welfare assistance, and other public safety and community services.

Grant Capabilities and Compliance Considerations

Federal funding programs initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic will require every Tribe to bolster its grant writing and grant management capabilities. Identifying grants that are right for your Tribe based on a cost and benefit analysis will continue to be important.

Tribes must also continue to be mindful of compliance considerations, such as using each award for authorized and eligible expenses, avoiding duplication, and having proper oversight and controls in place.

Apply for ARPA Funding

Each federal agency listed in the first column of the below table will provide information and instructions about how to apply for the ARPA funds.

For example, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has stated that other relevant information will be posted on the BIA website as it becomes available. 

Related Deadlines and Funding Availability

Most federal agencies haven’t yet released details about how to apply for the funds, however, there are some deadlines to be aware of. Tribes must opt into the Housing Block Grant no later than September 30, 2021, to access Homeowner Assistance Fund aid.

Funds are available until expended, unless a deadline is otherwise noted in the tables below.

ARPA Funding Specifically for Tribes

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Additional ARPA Funding Opportunities that Can Support Tribes

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More Resources Available to Tribes

In addition to support designated for Tribal governments, Tribal citizens can also benefit from:

Next Steps

Although COVID-19 has posed tremendous challenges, ARPA funding provides a momentous opportunity to strengthen Tribal governments and the communities they serve.

A finance professional can help your Tribe get started by identifying the right grants for your facts and circumstances and applying steps to secure funding.

Some of these steps include:

  • Performing short- and long-term strategic planning related to awards automatically received and application-based grant opportunities
  • Completing funding opportunity research and analysis
  • Managing the grant application process and continued liaising with federal agencies
  • Developing internal grant management policies, procedures, and operational infrastructure
  • Offering resources to ease the burden of grant compliance and reporting
  • Helping Tribal governments and other awardees prepare for federal program audits
  • Assisting in the application processing and eligibility determination for subawardees

We’re Here to Help

To learn more about available ARPA funds and how to secure them, additional resources to help your Tribe navigate COVID-19-related challenges, and steps to continue providing valuable services to your community, contact your Moss Adams professional.

Special thanks to Danni Noonan, Staff, Health Care Consulting Practice.

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