Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a total of $4.5 million to help four of Alabama’s most populous cities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ivey awarded $1.5 million each to the cities of Birmingham and Mobile and $750,000 each to the cities of Tuscaloosa and Decatur. 

The awards are part of more than $40 million allocated to Alabama under a special Community Development Block Grant program funded from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Ivey will announce additional grants to other Alabama cities and counties as applications are processed, according to the governor's office. The grant funds are required to be expended on projects relating to the recovery from or preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus or any future infectious diseases.

“As Alabama continues to make progress to end this pandemic, these funds will help people in some of Alabama’s largest cities to rebound from COVID-19,” Ivey said for a news release.  “I am pleased to award these funds and hope they will help these cities as they continue their recoveries.”

The city of Birmingham will use funds to supply food and health services to residents, aid the homeless and improve virtual schooling for students.

The city of Mobile will expend funds to fortify food banks to help meet local needs, upgrade emergency equipment, improve health services for senior citizens and provide legal services to residents to address fair-housing needs.

The city of Tuscaloosa will rehabilitate an underutilized elementary school building and convert it into a community resource center.

The city of Decatur will provide rental and utility assistance, assist small businesses with loans and improve fire and rescue equipment.

The funds were made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and can be used to support COVID-19 testing and vaccinations; rental, mortgage and utility assistance; assistance to food banks and pantries; job creation and business assistance and related projects to provide pandemic relief.  

Alabama counties and entitlement communities receiving the CDBG-COVID funds were required to make an application with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

“These Alabama cities qualifying for this special CDBG Covid-19 relief assistance know their needs and have presented their plans for helping them get past this pandemic and to prepare for any major disruptions in the future,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said for the news release.  “ADECA joins Governor Ivey in looking forward to working with these partnerships.”

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.

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