County Unveils Revised Budget: Pandemic Recovery, Homelessness, Equity Top List of Priorities

Mass Vax

Sept. 7, 2021
Redwood City – 
The County of San Mateo today unveiled a revised spending plan for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year that includes more than $100 million for local COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.

The pandemic’s impact is seen throughout the proposed changes to the 2021-22 Recommended Budget the Board of Supervisors approved just three months ago. These include:

“This budget seeks to expand the safety net for everyone in our community all while building build a stronger, inclusive and more resilient county than before the pandemic.”
County Manager Mike Callagy

► $74.4 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery from the federal American Rescue Plan Act
► $2.5 million in state funding to administer COVID-19 vaccine in communities that are at increased risk of infections and hospitalizations

“The pandemic revealed the vulnerability of large parts of our community – families struggling to pay rent, small-business owners trying to stay afloat,” County Manager Mike Callagy said. “This budget seeks to expand the safety net for everyone in our community all while building build a stronger, inclusive and more resilient county than before the pandemic.”

The 2021-22 Recommended Budget the Board of Supervisors approved in June totaled $3.3 billion. This revised budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year includes an additional $431.8 million, or 13 percent, in allocations, bringing the final total to $3.8 billion. (The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.)

Despite the increase in spending, the revised budget includes a net reduction of 15 authorized positions, bringing total budgeted positions to 5,627.

Business Support, Emergency Relief, Vaccine Outreach
The revised budget places a priority on providing relief to businesses, families and individuals  impacted by the pandemic. This includes:

► $5.5 million to directly support aid for businesses, and an additional $5.15 million in relief from business fees
► $5 million for COVID-19 vaccine outreach and mass vaccination sites, including anticipated needs for third-dose vaccine events
► More than $4 million to Aging and Adult Services for nutrition programs, vaccination outreach and other services for older adults
► Nearly $2.5 million to Family Health Services for administering COVID-19 vaccine in communities at increased risk of infection and hospitalization
► $800,000 to Public Health, Policy and Planning to support those in isolation due to COVID-19 exposure

Homelessness
The County has budgeted $20 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and an additional $5 million in capital funds to purchase hotels for use as shelters and to construct a navigation center, where the focus is on helping homeless individuals and families quickly overcome barriers to obtaining housing.

“Budgets reflect a community’s values, and this revised budget represents the sustained, coordinated commitment the County is making to achieving functional zero homelessness,” Callagy said. “What that means is that homelessness is rare and, when it does occur, is brief.”

Equity
The revised budget allocates $10 million toward pandemic relief and recovery in vulnerable communities, one of numerous investments in equity-related initiatives. The revised budget also outlines a new framework to advance equity and guide decision-making through all levels of the organization.

“Equity will continue to be a top priority for the County,” Callagy said. “Over time, these efforts will change the way the County conducts business, delivers services to residents, and develops policy and programs.”

 

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