Posts Authored by Jeffry D. Harris

ARPA Final Rule - The "B-sides collection": Affordable housing development

With the U.S. Treasury’s January 2022 release of its Final Rule in the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, we began publishing this series of articles reviewing the lesser publicized aspects of that guidance (hence, the “B-sides” moniker). In this edition, we address the Treasury’s presumed eligible use of federal stimulus funding in the development of affordable housing, and the limited scope under which private, for-profit entities may receive transfers of ARPA funds to carry out such ends.  

For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives

ARPA cash: Demolition and capital expenses related to vacant and abandoned buildings

Much ballyhoo has accompanied the U.S. Treasury’s publication in January 2022 of its Final Rule in the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Local governments across the country are scrambling to deploy their stimulus funds in response to the pandemic, pay essential workers, provide government services, and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Buried in the Final Rule and its 403-page clarifying guidance is an express authorization to use funds to address vacant and abandoned buildings, including commercial and industrial structures.  

For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives

ARPA final rule – The “B-sides collection”: Seeding revolving loan funds

Continuing our series of articles reviewing the lesser publicized aspects of the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) guidance (hence, the “B-sides” moniker), we address the U.S. Treasury’s issued guidance as to using federal stimulus funding to seed local governments’ revolving loan funds (RLFs). Specifically, we have clearer guidance, via the final rule clarifying an earlier FAQ issued by the Treasury, as to the mechanics of seeding RLFs using ARPA fiscal recovery funds. 

For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives

ARPA final rule – The “B-sides collection”: Funding capital projects

Much has been written by various prognosticators regarding the January 6, 2022, release by the U.S. Treasury of its final rule as to the use by state and local governments of federal stimulus funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). One head-turning change under the new guidance is the Treasury presuming up to $10 million in revenue has been lost by each local government due to the public health emergency.

Rather than rehash key takeaways from the Final Rule (radio’s “A-side” singles), we share this first of a series regarding lesser publicized aspects of the new ARPA guidance (the “B-sides”). Here, we focus on funding capital projects.

For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Project Finance

ODOD releases rules and program guidelines for Brownfield Remediation Program and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program

The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) released rules and associated program guideline documents (Brownfield Remediation and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization) to govern the disbursement of $500 million in total grant funds for distressed properties in Ohio. Governor DeWine’s signature of H.B. 110 on June 30, 2021, set in motion the creation of two massive funding sources that are now available to community and economic development stakeholders: Brownfield Remediation Program (see R.C. 122.6511) and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program (see R.C. 122.6512). Each of these programs will be administered by the ODOD pursuant to its newly-promulgated rules and the associated program guideline documents. The rules were emergency filed and are effective as of December 7, 2021, and are currently set to expire on April 7, 2022. ODOD is expected to initiate a formal rulemaking process for the rules between now and April 7, 2022, which will include the opportunity for public notice and comment. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Application deadlines for ARPA broadband funding: August 13 and August 20

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides billions in direct assistance to the State of Ohio and its metro cities, with additional funds to other cities, villages, townships and counties for broadband infrastructure investments, but time is almost up to apply. The deadline for the Emergency Connectivity Fund included in ARPA, a $7.17 billion program to help schools and libraries support and facilitate remote learning, is August 13, 2021. School districts may also apply for the ARPA Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) $4.5 billion fund for broadband infrastructure projects by August 20, 2021.

Bricker’s step-by-step guide to ARPA resources for expanding broadband connectivity can be found here.

Federal Updates, Project Finance, State Updates

You just caught that purple unicorn – now what? Ohio’s operating budget appropriates $500 million in grant funds for brownfield remediation and (commercial) building demolition

For many observers tracking the state budget bill, the General Assembly’s change in the name of the state’s development agency – reverting back to the Ohio Department of Development – was breathtaking in and of itself. However, two new funding lines inserted into the measure (H.B. 110), representing $500 million in total grant funds available during state fiscal year (SFY) 2022, have lassoed the purple unicorn. That is, an answer now exists to the question, “how will Ohio fund clean-up and demolition of legacy commercial and industrial sites?” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Other people’s money: Certain use of federal stimulus cash by land banks “presumed” eligible

During the past decade, county land banks ramped up operations across Ohio largely employing one-time cash. The Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), sourced from Ohio’s share of mortgage industry settlement payments related to the Great Recession, was a catalytic funding source for demolishing thousands of vacant and abandoned residential structures throughout the state. HHF served its purpose, and served it well. However, as the remaining program dollars are drawn down, many county land banks are facing existential funding questions. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

Ohio Senate Committee chefs baking economic development morsels into their version of the state budget bill

On June 1, 2021, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee released its version of the state’s biennial operating budget (HB 110), which must be signed into law by June 30, 2021. As often happens, there are millions of dollars in appropriated funds across state government, and then there are actual, no-kidding changes to unrelated elements of Ohio law also inserted into the bill. There are two such changes that should be noted by Ohio’s economic development practitioners. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

Ants arriving at the picnic: U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals finds merit in federal “takings” claim filed against county land bank

In May 2021, the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati sent a county land bank case back to the district court in Dayton for reconsideration. Rejecting the winning argument at the lower level—that the owner of an abandoned property had her chance to raise objections earlier in a tax foreclosure process, which she didn’t—the appeals court held that new U.S. Supreme Court precedent does, in fact, allow the owner to raise a federal “takings” argument under the Constitution once a property is deemed abandoned and titled to a county land bank. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance
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