February 22, 2024 | From City of New Orleans

City of New Orleans Provides Updates on ARPA-Funded Initiatives

NEW ORLEANS — On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 (H.R. 1319) into law.  The $1.9 trillion package was designed to directly combat the COVID 19-pandemic and its impacts to states and municipalities.  The City of New Orleans received $388 million in ARPA funds, and as of Feb. 2024, $245 million has been spent and another $48.5 million is obligated, representing 76 percent of the City’s total appropriation.  

The Cantrell Administration has been transparent with the public and City Council on our plans for spending down the City’s ARPA allocation. We have presented to the City Council fifteen times on ARPA, including quarterly updates on ARPA spending that began in 2023, in addition to numerous public meetings. The last presentation the Cantrell Administration gave to City Council was on Jan. 11, 2024.  

In the 40 days since that presentation, the City has spent down $2 million in ARPA funds and obligated another $10.3 million. Additionally, it is important to note, that ARPA funds were designed to be spent down over time, as the federal government set the obligation deadline of Dec. 31, 2024, and the spending deadline of Dec. 31, 2026.  The City will complete an evaluation of unspent ARPA funds that may need to be reallocated in Summer 2024.  

The City’s ARPA portfolio includes 119 individual projects. Of those 119 projects, 40 have funding spent or obligated, 28 are in contract development or execution, 26 have a procurement open and 25 are in scope development.  Before spending can begin on an ARPA project, the following steps must be taken:  

  1. Development of a project scope 
  2. Evaluation of compliance with ARPA requirements 
  3. Drafting and releasing competitive procurement 
  4. Evaluating responses to the procurement and selecting award recipients 
  5. Drafting and executing sub-recipient agreements or contracts 

The administration can provide the following updates on ARPA-funded initiatives: 

  • $3 million for Right of Way Maintenance: 
    • This allocation is broken up into three projects: traffic signal upgrades, pavement striping and speed management. Procurements have been completed for all three projects and one contract (speed management) has been executed and work is scheduled to begin in Quarter 1.  Work on the traffic signal upgrades and pavement striping is expected to begin in early Quarter 2.  
  • $2.5 million for Citywide Greening: 
    • Project planning is underway to program this funding. Procurements are expected to be released in Quarter 1. 
  • $11 million for Workforce Development: 
    • This allocation will fund over 20 projects. A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $7 million is currently open and scheduled to close on Feb. 29. $3 million of the funding is allocated to expand the Highschool JAG program, and the contract is currently awaiting approval of the Orleans Parish School Board before execution is completed. The remaining $1 million is split between three projects: NOEMS Corps ($500K), Port of New Orleans ($400K) and Horticulture Programming ($100K). Contracting is underway with the Port of New Orleans, and the NOEMS Corps and Horticulture project will have procurements released in Quarter 1.  
  • $2 million for Convenience Center Development: 
    • This allocation was intended for the construction of two convenience centers, one in Old Gentilly and one in Algiers. The City received funding form the State to support this project and has begun spending that allocation on the design phase of the project. The Mayor of Gretna recently expressed interest in supporting the opening of a convenience center on the Westbank, and the Administration is currently evaluating the best path forward for the Algiers location.  
  • $2.5 million for RTA transportation support:
    • The City has been working with stakeholders to finalize the project scope and will be releasing a NOFA for administrative support of the project in Quarter 1.  
  • $500K for Language Access: 
    • On Sep. 21, 2023, City Council passed Resolution R-23-431 establishing the ARPA Implementation Advisory Committee, which will develop a strategy and recommendations for implementation of this allocation. The resolution gave the committee 180 days to provide policy and programming recommendations which are due on March 19, 2024. The Administration is awaiting these recommendations before moving forward on spending these funds.  
  • $2 million for Homeless Services: 
    • The $1 million allocated for outreach workers has a contract in place and the vendor is working through challenges hiring staff to perform the work. The remaining $1 million will be split between improvements to the Low Barrier Shelter (LBS) and the development of a flex fund to support rapid rehousing efforts. Procurements for LBS improvements are in development and are expected to be released in Quarter 1. The procurement for the flex fund has closed, and we are entering contract negotiations. A significant amount of funding has been allocated to homeless services in New Orleans outside of this $2 million allocation and work is underway.   
  • $1.5 million for New Orleans Regional Business Park (NORBP):
    • The original project requested $1.5 million for general facility improvements, blight remediation and other related scopes at NORBP in New Orleans East. After discussions with NORBP, only $975K in funding is needed for the improvements. The remaining $525K of this funding will be used to release a NOFA to support new energy industry businesses. NORBP received the draft CEA in Summer 2023 and has not yet provided the City with feedback. The NOFA for the new energy industry businesses will be released in Quarter 1.  

ARPA Implementation Office  

The ARPA Implementation Project Management Office (ARPA PMO) was established in Fall 2023 to ensure ARPA funds are spent in full compliance with federal guidelines and to support departments in spending their ARPA allocations. The City anticipates several audits will be conducted on the ARPA program, and ensuring we have done our due diligence on the front end is of paramount importance. The public can contact City’s ARPA team at and view the City’s ARPA Dashboard at   


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