Washington, D.C. — Investing in equitable, healthy, and climate change-ready communities is essential to ensure a just economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.
As Congress prepares another COVID-19 relief package and a long-term economic stimulus plan, it must target significant new investment in vulnerable communities to help address and lift long-standing and unjust environmental, health, and economic burdens. This includes communities that are economically disadvantaged, tribal communities, and communities of color.
“Congress’ delay in passing a COVID-19 relief, stimulus, and long-term recovery package hurts everyone,” said Cathleen Kelly, a senior fellow at CAP. “As the impacts of climate change and economic inequality only become graver, Congress must move quickly to pass a relief package that includes meaningful and long-overdue investments in disadvantaged communities. Congress must invest in programs that support just and climate-resilient community development.”
The issue brief recommends that Congress make significant new investments in the following community development programs:
- $2 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions to promote economic recovery and revitalization in disadvantaged communities
- $30.36 billion for Community Development Block Grants to support construction of affordable housing, programs to create economic opportunities and jobs, services for those in need, and disaster mitigation and recovery
- $2.25 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program
- Create a Healthy Communities and Resilient Infrastructure Fund
- Expand funding for federally qualified health centers
- Provide $6 billion for the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
- Fund anti-displacement strategies
Read the issue brief: “Building Equitable, Healthy, and Climate Change-Ready Communities in the Wake of COVID-19” by Cathleen Kelly and Mikyla Reta.
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