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Barnstable County Commissioners Propose $11.4 Million in ARPA Funds to Address Housing Challenges

Information from the Barnstable County Commissioners’ Office

December 27, 2022 (Barnstable, MA) – The Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners has allocated $11.4 million in ARPA funds to address housing and homelessness based on the recommendations of the Barnstable County ARPA Advisory Committee.

The recommendations include $3 million for sheltering and medical respite for homeless individuals, $6.9 million for gap funding for affordable housing projects that are currently underway, and $1.5 million for workforce housing focusing on the “missing middle” and supporting the seasonal workforce through innovative public/private partnerships such as promoting zoning changes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and formalizing a host network.

Eligible applicants for this round of ARPA funding include non-profit organizations, private/for-profit organizations, and municipalities through a request for proposal (RFP) process to be administered by Barnstable County. 

“We want to deeply thank the ARPA Advisory Committee for their dedication and hard work in making recommendations to invest ARPA funds to address regional priorities.  We look forward to working with the Assembly of Delegates to finalize funding as soon as possible for County projects and this critical new funding to address the housing crisis facing Cape Cod,” said Sheila Lyons, Chair of the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners.

The ARPA Advisory Committee is comprised of leaders from Cape Cod, including Chair Paul Niedzwiecki (Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce), Dorothy Savarese (Cape Cod Five), Dan Wolf (Cape Air), Lisa Guyon (We Can), Sean Gonsalves (Institute for Local Self-Reliance), Wendy Northcross (JFK Hyannis Museum Foundation), Karen Gardner (Community Health Center of Cape Cod) and Kristin O’Malley (Cape Cod Foundation). The ARPA Advisory Committee’s mission is to advise the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates on regional funding priorities and to recommend criteria to identify projects of regional impact for funding.  Now that their final funding recommendation, focused on housing, is completed, the Committee will continue to serve in an advisory role and plan to convene in the spring of 2023 to receive an update on progress on the distribution of ARPA funds.

This latest allocation of ARPA funding to address the housing sector builds on funding that has been already recommended by the Board of Commissioners, including $12.8 million for essential County projects.  On November 2, 2022, the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners recommended funding $12.8 million for regional projects that will expand and sustain the County’s investment in water quality, affordable housing, post-COVID public health, and emergency management needs, and upgrades to County services by digitizing records and investing in equipment for the County Dredge. Funding for County projects is awaiting approval by the Assembly of Delegates.

Additionally, $15 million in funding has already been approved by the Board of Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates, including a $5 million competitive grant program for communities and $10 million in Barnstable County APRA grants available to the 15 towns on Cape Cod. 

$5 Million in Grants for support to Cape Cod Communities

Between 8/24/22 and 9/30/22, the County received 122 Letters of Intent (LOIs) totaling over $40 million from Cape Cod organizations with interest in applying for $5 million in small and medium-sized competitive grants.  The total funding amount of $5 million for this round of ARPA funding was appropriated in August 2022. County staff reviewed the LOI submissions against criteria developed by the ARPA Advisory Committee.  Forty projects totaling $14 million moved forward to the application phase via the County’s ARPA Online Application Portal. Completed applications will then move through the County’s established 3-level review process, in coordination with an independent accounting firm, from the end of December 2022 through the end of March 2023. This program was available to non-county local government units, nonprofits, and private/for-profit organizations to support the region’s economic recovery from COVID – 19.   Awards will be announced in the Spring of 2023.

$10 Million to Provide Critical Resources Directly to 15 Towns

$10 million in Barnstable County APRA grants was made available to the 15 towns on Cape Cod. So far, Barnstable County has awarded seven grants to six towns totaling over $6.7 Million. Sheila Lyons, Chair of the County Board of Commissioners encourages the remaining towns to apply for their allocated funding. 

Barnstable County has received $41.4 million in ARPA funds from the US Treasury.  To date, the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners has allocated $40 Million in ARPA funding.  The U.S. Treasury requires that ARPA funds be obligated by 12/31/24 and expended by 12/31/26.   Additional information on Barnstable County’s ARPA program can be found here.

About Barnstable County Regional Government of Cape Cod, Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at