Two years into pandemic, Southerners’ struggle with housing weighs heavy as lawmakers begin ARP spending plans

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) released the first phase of results from its American Rescue Plan (ARP) Community Needs survey. The ARP was passed in March of 2021 to assist communities in recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct community feedback is the crux of ARP’s funding 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, Mississippi, and 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.