Local Return supports the recommendation made by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Make It Happen: Investing in Rhode Island’s Future committee to invest $50 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds in neighborhood trusts.
A neighborhood trust is a collection of funds, controlled by members of the community for the long-term benefit of the community. This is a way of getting funds directly to neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by both COVID-19 and generations of financial disinvestment — and generating economic activity, local agency, social resilience, and community wealth.
$50 million could seed nine neighborhood trusts, along with robust technical assistance for the first five years and legal support upon start-up. View the slideshow above for more details on our proposal.
- The unequal impact of COVID-19 on neighborhoods stems from decades of disinvestment, racism, and systemic failures.
- Neighborhood trusts center community decision-making, giving distressed communities local ownership and control of the resources that flow into them. People know their own needs and those of their communities best.
- I support the proposal to use $50 million of ARPA funds (less than 5% of the Federal Relief Funds allocated to Rhode Island) for neighborhood trusts.
- This idea has the potential to be truly transformative, and those are the kinds of investments we need to be making right now for Rhode Island’s long-term future.