Recognizing the vital role homebuilding will play in post-pandemic economic recovery, the recently released proposed budget for the City of Portland, FY 21-22, earmarks $8.3 million of federal stimulus American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be used by the Bureau of Development Services to maintain current levels of service. As part of a broad coalition of construction, labor, and housing organizations, HBA advocated to maintain current BDS staffing and service levels to ensure the bureau’s ability to keep up with a recovering development and construction industry. With the pandemic significantly impacting development services revenue, a reduction in critical services would likely be necessary without these additional funds. Importantly, the proposed budget directs these additional funds to prevent immediate layoffs, delay potential layoffs, and sustain current service levels within the department. The earmarked funds will be included in the second tranche of the federal stimulus in spring 2022 and will be used to backfill revenue losses. If those losses are not realized, council may choose to direct the funds to other priorities that are eligible under Treasury guidance. The next proposed budget hearing is Thursday, May 13 from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, which can be viewed here or on Channel 30. You may submit comments until 4:00 pm on Monday June 7th for the Tuesday, June 8th Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission Hearing on the Approved Budget. For more information on HBA's work in Portland, contact Ryan Makinster at email@example.com.