Kay Ivey awards COVID-19 recovery grants to four Alabama cities

Governor Kay Ivey speaks at a coronavirus update briefing in the state capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday April 14, 2020. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Governor Kay Ivey today awarded a total of $4.5 million to help four of Alabama’s most populous cities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. $1.5 million each will go to the cities of Birmingham and Mobile and $750,000 each to the cities of Tuscaloosa and Decatur.

On Twitter, Ivey commented, “I’m pleased to award $4.5 million to help four of Alabama’s most populous cities – Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa & Decatur – recover from the #COVID19 pandemic.”

The money is from $40 million given to Alabama under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds can be used to support COVID-19 related issues like testing and vaccinations, rental, mortgage, and utility assistance, or assistance to food banks and pantries. The funding can also help with job creation, business assistance, and related projects to provide pandemic relief.

“As Alabama continues to make progress to end this pandemic, these funds will help people in some of Alabama’s largest cities to rebound from COVID-19,” Governor Ivey stated in a press release.  “I am pleased to award these funds and hope they will help these cities as they continue their recoveries.”

Birmingham will use funds to supply food and health services to residents, aid the homeless, and improve virtual schooling for students. Mobile plans to use the funds to fortify food banks to help meet local needs, upgrade emergency equipment, improve health services for senior citizens, and provide legal services to residents to address fair-housing needs.

The city of Tuscaloosa will rehabilitate an underutilized elementary school building and convert it into a community resource center. The city of Decatur will provide rental and utility assistance, assist small businesses with loans and improve fire and rescue equipment.

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Director Kenneth Boswell commented, “These Alabama cities qualifying for this special CDBG Covid-19 relief assistance know their needs and have presented their plans for helping them get past this pandemic and to prepare for any major disruptions in the future. ADECA joins Governor Ivey in looking forward to working with these partnerships.”