Harrisburg Uses American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Affordable Housing and Home Repairs

Shown is the dome of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Sean Kitchen

July 7, 2023

The city will spend $8 million on affordable housing projects, $5 million for home repairs for low-income and elderly residents, and millions more on public playgrounds, pools, and other programs to serve community members.

On Wednesday, the Harrisburg City Council voted on how to spend the city’s remaining $31.4 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

The city will spend $8 million on affordable housing projects and another $8 million on renovating a city-owned pool in Hall Manor. 

Other ARPA allocations, as reported by The Burg, include $5 million for home repairs for low-income and elderly residents, $1.5 million for creating an ADA-accessible playground, another $1.5 million for blighted building demolition. The council also agreed to direct:

  • $1 million to assist people who are behind on their trash bills;
  • $1 million to create a workforce development and internship program for youth, and;
  • $1 million to provide funds for emergency and transitional housing needs. 

“I’m very proud of the work council has done here and I pray that our concern was felt through this process and that we are maximizing the funds for the benefit of the residents now and in the future,” council president Danielle Bowers said.

The city received $47 million total in federal funding from the plan and has until the end of 2026 to spend the money. Harrisburg previously allocated $15.6 million of those funds for one-time bonuses for police and fire-fighters, to replace the HVAC system in the city’s Public Safety Building, and to reimburse the city for lost revenue during the pandemic.

With this week’s decision, the city has now allocated all of its ARPA money.

Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams called the funding a “historic day for the City of Harrisburg.”

“I look forward to working with Council and the people of Harrisburg to get this life-altering money into the hands of our residents,” she added.  


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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