Background and overview
On March 19, 2020, Governor Holcomb took action to protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak with Executive Order 20-05. This order directed multiple state agencies on the expectations of providing support and protection to Hoosiers across the State. The Office of Community and Rural Affairs was therefore issued the following action item: Community Development Block Grant funds may be redirected to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development.
Launched in April 2020, the COVID-19 Response Program was created to address the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and to support economic recovery in Indiana’s rural communities. COVID-19 Response Program Phases 1, 2 and 3 were funded through the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also referred to as CARES Act, on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act (CDBG- CV) provided waivers allowing OCRA to aid both non-entitlement and entitlement communities with preparing, preventing and responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Additional CARES ACT (CDBG-CV) funding was set aside as a match for the nine communities participating in the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program, also referred to as HELP. These matching funds will be used to support long-term pandemic recovery and ensure Indiana’s rural communities are resilient in the face of economic downturns or unprecedented health emergencies.
OCRA awarded 191 grants to 142 communities, totaling more than $38 million in funding, through the COVID-19 Response Program Phases 1, 2 and 3. Funds awarded through this program provided relief to more than 600 thousand Hoosiers across the State.
Program Reporting Guidance
COVID-19 Response Program projects focused on job retention activities (i.e., grants and loans to small businesses), are expected to report annually for two years (grants) or in perpetuity (for non-forgivable loans.)
The reporting for COVID-19 Phases 1, 2 and 3 recipients is due on July 31, 2022.
This will be the last reporting required for COVID-19 Phases 1 and 2 recipients. COVID-19 Phase 3 recipients are expected to report through July of 2023.
Communities are not expected to meet closeout monitoring requirements before they submit reporting in the above-stated timelines.