Polk County will invest more than $15 million in affordable housing projects. The county’s Board of Supervisors approved the funding during its meeting on April 5. The funding is part of $95 million the county received from American Rescue Plan Act funds. The county’s decision comes as supervisors and staff develop a process to determine how to ensure ARPA funds are used to the maximum benefit of the community. According to a news release, four categories of work will be supported by ARPA funds: affordable housing, water quality, economic well-being and mental health. The $15 million that was approved will be designated for three uses. The majority, $12 million, will be used to acquire, convert or build permanent housing with a focus on supportive housing for underserved residents. Another $3 million will be used to start a revolving loan fund to provide short-term bridge loans, acquisition loans and funding for due diligence and pre-development expenses. The rest, about $150,000, will be used to start a two-year pilot program to hire two community advocates. The Polk County Housing Trust fund will administer the funds, which must be used by Dec. 31, 2026. The application, due on July 13, for this special grant program and program details can be found online at pchtf.org/applications.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the county funding was approved by the supervisors in April. The link to the application is also included.