Peduto’s office unveils plans for Biden’s American Rescue Plan money

PITTSBURGH — The chief of staff for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Dan Gilman, said he was optimistic after announcing how the city will divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

“This is saving Pittsburgh,” Dan Gilman told Channel 11.

Out of the $335 million, $112 million will go to help the city avoid massive layoffs across the board. That includes dramatic cuts to the city’s Department of Public Safety.

“I know we’ll face zero layoffs and zero service cuts thanks to the American Rescue Plan,” Gilman said.

In addition to bailing out the city and saving hundreds of jobs, there’s money left to go around. Some of the highlights include:

  • $3.5 million to forgive small business loans
  • $2 million for a new fund to support local artists who experienced hardships
  • $21 million to promote affordable home ownership in the city
  • $1 million for restaurants and to make street eateries permanent
  • $2 million for community public safety facilities to help respond to violent crime
  • $7 million to buy electric vehicles

“Tens of millions of dollars for affordable housing to help homeowners change their windows, their roofs, and you know, weatherize their homes to help people buy their first home, to invest in a community land trust. It really can have an impact,” Gilman said. “It’s also about economic impact of it all. Look at all the construction projects and the number of union families and middle class families that will go to work, have additional paychecks. Local businesses will win these contracts that support them.”

The plan will be presented to the city council Tuesday morning. It’s unclear if any parts of the plan will be changed. Peduto’s office said they worked closely with the city council on it.