Local Infrastructure Hub will connect city leaders to experts to bring clarity and direction to the application process by addressing primary barriers to accessing federal funding.
Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a new hub to help US cities and towns access federal infrastructure funding to help drive local recovery and improve communities.
The Local Infrastructure Hub: Support for US Cities and Towns to Put Federal Funding to Work for Residents aims to connect city leaders to experts to help bring clarity and direction to the application process by addressing primary barriers to accessing federal funding.
More than 400 separate grant programmes are open to local governments following president Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the next 24 months. They could support a range of projects from transforming ports and parks to rural broadband and tackling challenges like climate change but many communities will struggle to identify and apply for all the available funding.
The Local Infrastructure Hub brings together leading experts in policy and innovation in a programme that includes information, resources, and technical assistance to help cities access what is described as a “once-in-a-lifetime” funding opportunity.
“For smaller cities and towns, submitting strong applications for federal infrastructure money is easier said than done, so foundations and city networks are stepping up to help,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City.
“Local leaders know the infrastructure needs of their communities better than anyone, and the Local Infrastructure Hub is going to be critical to ensuring these needs get met”
He added: “The Local Government Infrastructure Hub is a first-of-its-kind resource for local leaders, and its experts will help small towns and cities compete for and win the funds they need to build stronger, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.”
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Emerson Collective, and the Kresge Foundation aims to address two primary barriers to accessing federal funding. First, the hub will help local leaders navigate and understand the large quantities of information from the federal government on the nearly 400 funding opportunities available.
Furthermore, it will help cities and towns develop competitive funding applications that are most likely to be awarded federal grants. There will be a special focus on helping traditionally underserved cities and towns prepare competitive proposals as they often lack easy access to national networks, expertise, and other supports that can improve their chances of drawing down federal resources.
The hub will be delivered by US Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and Results for America, a national organisation focused on helping government decision-makers use data and evidence to drive results. The National League of Cities will offer technical assistance to help small towns and mid-size cities develop strong applications that are grounded in data, feature detailed project plans, and include relevant policy objectives. The expanded effort builds upon technical assistance the National League of Cities is providing in select states with the support of The Joyce Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
“We worked incredibly hard to get the bipartisan infrastructure law passed, and now we want to do everything we can to help cities, towns, and villages across the country take advantage of the funds,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director, National League of Cities.
“For smaller cities and towns, submitting strong applications for federal infrastructure money is easier said than done, so foundations and city networks are stepping up to help”
Organisations like the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, National Association of City Transportation Officials, and the National Urban League will partner to contribute content, expertise, and support to communities through the effort.