OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH
The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) releases the first phase of results from its American Rescue Plan (ARP) Community Needs survey. The ARP was signed into law in 2021 to assist communities in recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct community feedback is the crux of ARP funds guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury, encouraging local leaders to place equity and public engagement at the forefront of spending plans.
Launched in November 2021, the SEAP surveyed more than 3,500 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi ( includes data from New Orleans, Louisiana) through the Propel application. SEAP’s findings revealed challenges for both individual residents and whole communities. Our team also gathered feedback on how respondents would like their local leaders to prioritize ARP funds in their communities.
SEAP launched the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Community Needs survey to gather feedback from residents across the 12 Southern states. The survey aims to identify challenges Southerners are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. SEAP’s goal is to bring in voices and ideas from local communities, especially those typically neglected.
SEAP developed the American Rescue Plan Local Funds Tracker to showcase real-time data tracking how local leaders are planning for and spending SLFRF funds. Note: As of Q1 2023, the updated tracker now includes all 50 states.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Community Needs Survey gathered quotes from more than 3,500 SNAP recipients in AL, GA, MS, and NOLA that revealed ongoing pandemic challenges for individuals and communities.
WHAT THEY WANT VS. HOW LEADERS ARE SPENDING
As of March 2021
SEAP’s ARP Local Funds Tracker provides data on spending choices for cities where leaders have made spending decisions. The tracker identifies and groups spending into 12 categories (public health, affordable housing, business support, general government, and others that align with the ARP requirements). Our interactive tool lets viewers see this information at the city and state levels. The team reviewed cities with populations of more than 20,000 in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
See highlights from each state below. Hover over the square to reveal how leaders are allocating funds to meet community wants/needs.