Following the money: Where COVID relief funds are being used in New York

Coronavirus

A “Welcome Back to School” hangs on a fence at Brooklyn’s PS 245 elementary school as children arrive for the first day of class, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in New York. Classroom doors are swinging open for about a million New York City public school students in the nation’s largest experiment of in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Billions in COVID relief dollars are coming to New York, to be distributed to areas like local governments, school districts, small businesses, renters, and landlords.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has mentioned a desire for greater government transparency more than once. Many other politicians also push for transparency in the wake of such Cuomo-era scandals as COVID deaths in nursing homes, sexual harassment, and state employees working volunteering to work on private pet projects.

Over the weekend, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released the COVID-19 Relief Program Tracker, a resource for New Yorkers to better understand government processes.

“My office is committed to full transparency in government spending,” DiNapoli said.

New York has received an historic level of federal funding to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. This has helped stabilize state and local government finances and allowed for greater investments in programs to assist New Yorkers in need. My office will follow the money to ensure federal funds are getting where they are supposed to go and being spent in smart and efficient ways to help New York’s recovery

Comptroller DiNapoli

School districts are set to receive $14.7 billion, with local governments getting $13.5 billion — the lion’s share of the relief, according to the comptroller’s tracker.

Want to know where the rest of the funding is going and how much has already been spent? Take a look at the breakdown of relief funds received and spent, as of Sept. 30. It also shows the total funds expected to be received. A description of the categories can be found below the chart.

CategoryFunds receivedFunds spentTotal funds expected to be received
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief$924.5 million$937.1 million$14.7 billion
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund$13.1 billion$387.1 million$13.5 billion
Coronavirus Relief Fund$5.1 billion$3.9 billion$5.1 billion
Child Care Services$143.2 million$151.5 million$2.5 billion
Emergency Rental Assistance$1.7 billion$696.4 million$2.682 billion
Excluded Workers Fund (state)$2.1 billion$968.5 million$2.1 billion
Homeowner Assistance Fund$53.9 million$50.0 million$539.5 million
Small Business Recovery (state)$865 million$207.6 million$865 million
Small Business Recovery (federal)$0$0$600 million
Totals$24.04 billion$7.32 billion$42.58 billion
Source: NYS Comptroller
  • Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief: Funding provided through three separate legislations: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ($1.2 billion); Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act ($4.3 billion); and American Rescue Plan ($9.2 billion) to support COVID response efforts in schools. Funds distributed by the State Education Department. Funding will be used through the 2024-2025 fiscal school year.
  • State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund: Funding provided through the American Rescue Plan to be used through 2025. The program is administered by the Division of the Budget.
  • Coronavirus Relief Fund: Funding provided by the CARES Act and the program is administered by the DOB for health and public safety payroll costs and other costs associated with the pandemic. The Comptroller’s office said $3.9 billion of the expected $5.1 billion disbursed since April has been used for operting costs for state agencies.
  • Child Care Services: Funding provided through the CARES Act ($163.6 million), CRSRA ($468.8 million), and the American Rescue Plan ($1.856 billion). Funds were appropriated to help provide greater access to child care by subsidizing costs to families. It was also designed to help stabilize child care providers by making money available for COVID related costs like cleaning and personal protective equipment.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance: Federal funding provided through the Consolidated Appropriations Act ($1.3 billion) and the American Rescue Plan ($1.3 billion). Another $250 million provided by New York state. The program is administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to help low/moderate income tenants and landlords with rental assistance.
  • Excluded Workers Fund: State funded program administered by the Department of Labor to help cut taxes for people making up to $26,208/annually in the year before April 19, 2021 who were not eligible for unemployment insurance or other COVID relief programs.
  • Homeowner Assistance Fund: Federal funding provided through the American Rescue Plan for homeowners who need help paying for expenses like mortgages, utilities, and to prevent foreclosures or defaults. The program is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
  • Small Business Recovery (state and federal): Funding provided through the American Rescue Fund ($600 million). The state is providing $865 million with another $135 million in tax incentives. The funding is to help small businesses recover from the pandemic.

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