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Columbia City Hall (2021 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Mental health and affordable housing are two biggest priorities for Columbia residents with ARPA survey

Columbia City Hall (2021 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Columbia’s city council will hear a detailed 45-page report this (Monday) afternoon about resident responses to the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) survey results. APA was signed into law by President Joe Biden (D).

The city has received $12.6 million dollars in ARPA funding, and will be receiving a second allocation for the same amount. The biggest two categories for those who completed the survey are funding to help access health and mental health, and investments in affordable housing. The third and fourth-highest priority items cited by residents in the survey are premium pay for workers and funding services for the homeless.

In terms of income, the group that completed the largest number of surveys are those who make between $100,000 and $149,000.

Columbia has about 127,000 residents, and about 4,500 of them took the survey. 3,900 of them are white, 441 are black, 115 are Hispanic and 94 are Asian-Americans, according to the presentation.

Columbia councilwoman Pat Fowler has called on the city to invest all of the $25.4 million it will receive from ARPA for direct assistance “to those most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

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