The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs has formed a partnership with the University of Baltimore (UB) and Morgan State University (MSU) to outline how American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be distributed for future city initiatives.
Mayor Brandon Scott announced that the institutions would devote resources and expertise towards program areas ordered for ARPA funding allocations.
UB and MSU will work as counsel for the city of Baltimore in program design, performance metrics, peer-tested best practices, equitable fund distribution, and advanced program evaluations for new initiatives supported by ARPA.
“ARPA is a one-time investment. Support from these two world-class universities will position us to make evidence-based decisions and show our impact for the benefit of Baltimoreans,” said Mayor Scott.
“In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach — with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity. This partnership will allow us to do that,” he added.
The city previously invited local colleges and universities to provide information detailing how they would assist local government with this project, aiming to select university partners to help Baltimore make informed decisions about the creation or enhancement of services through federal stimulus funds.
UB has proposed initiatives to address economic disparity, lack of infrastructure, and the needs of disproportionately impacted communities. Morgan State’s portfolio consisted of action items involving financial aid to small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the tourism industries.
“This partnership will help the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs meet the clear mandates from ARPA to advance equity and to implement or develop evidence-based interventions for the benefit of Baltimore City residents,” said Chief Recovery Officer Shamiah Kerney.