Just Released: Overview Of Orlando’s Proposed 20-21 Budget Investments

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando Focus Funding to Increase Racial Equity and Respond to the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

FY 2020/2021 Budget Workshop Key Takeaways

Overview of Proposed Budget Investments

“This year as we’re developing our budget, our country is facing two historic events, the COVID-19 pandemic and the national call to end systematic racism in our country.  In some respects, these are separate issues, but in other ways they’re very much connected.  That is why both of these important dynamics are prioritized in our budgeting and investments over the next year and in the years to come.” — Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Weathering the Storm and Preparing For Future Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Allows our City to continue to maintain our high standard of delivering the core city services our residents depend on.

Ensures resources are in place to respond to future economic challenges that likely lay ahead because of the pandemic.

Maintains the same millage rate.

Commitment to Change and Investing in Increasing Equity

Renews and expands our efforts to make change and further create racial equity

Creates Orlando’s first-ever Equity Official, a position dedicated to make change and further racial equity in everything our city government does.

Expands the Parramore Kidz Zone program to three additional neighborhoods – our Holden Heights, Mercy Drive and Engelwood neighborhoods – to reach more at-risk youth and connect them with opportunity.

Refocuses funding within the police department to increase community policing, enhance de-escalation and un-biased training and pilot co-responder models that engage mental health and social service professionals on calls when needed.

Detailed Proposed Department Budget Enhancements:

“Our commitment to increasing equity in our community means investing in programs and resources that will provide equal value, equal protection, and equitable access to opportunity.” — Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Orlando Police Department

Orlando Police Department – Refocusing $4.5 million in funding to strengthen community policing efforts, enhance review and training for use of force and fund mental health assistance for officers

Creating a dedicated Community Oriented Policing Team, comprised of 10 new officers who will focus on working collaboratively with residents to address community concerns and cultivate positive relationships.

Piloting co-responder models that engage mental health and social service professionals on calls involving individuals experiencing homelessness or a mental crisis.  This model aims to provide a more compressive response with trained professionals in these areas to help provide additional support services.

Enhancing Response to Resistance investigations by creating a new dedicated team to provide additional oversight and transparency.

Funding mental health professionals who will work directly in the department to offer and expand direct access to mental health assistance for officers.

Engaging an educational institution to provide officers with Intercultural Competence Assessment evaluations to strengthen their cultural competence and ensure more equitable interactions between officers and the community.

Families, Parks and Recreation

Families, Parks and Recreation – Increasing the Families, Parks and Recreation budget by nearly 14 percent to bring more programs to children and residents in the neighborhoods where they live.

Expanding the Parramore Kidz Zone program to three additional neighborhoods – our Holden Heights, Mercy Drive and Engelwood neighborhoods – to reach more at-risk youth and connect them with opportunity.

Increasing recreation and youth opportunities to serve residents and children at the renovated Grand Avenue Center in the Holden Heights neighborhood and at Lake Lorna Doone Park in the West Lakes neighborhood.

Making improvements at the Hankins Park pool for residents in Washington Shores and renovations to the Jackson Neighborhood Center basketball courts and playground for residents in Parramore and Holden Heights.

Housing

Accessible Housing for Everyone – Making $20 million available in FY 20-21 towards short and long-term affordable housing

Allocating $1 million in FY 20-21 toward affordable housing bringing a total of $7 million dedicated funding to invest in housing efforts in the year ahead.

Allocating $1.5 million in CRA funds in the FY 20-21 budget toward housing.

Leveraging more than $12 million in federal funds to bring short and long-term affordable housing to the community.

Additionally, the City and CRA are providing residents up to $100,000 in down payment assistance to make homes even more affordable through City and CRA down payment assistance programs.

In the last five years, the city has invested or committed more than $40 million to create or preserve housing options, a majority of the investment in West Orlando neighborhoods. This includes the construction or rehabilitation of more than 1,600 multifamily units and the construction of more than 150 new residences (single-family residences and duplexes) that provide opportunities for residents interested in pursuing the American dream of homeownership. 

Jobs & Business

Job Training and Support for Minority Owned Businesses – Dedicating nearly $4 million towards providing equitable opportunities for education and jobs.

Providing up to $40,000 in grant funding through the Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance (MEBA) Program to help retain existing minority-owned businesses and to attract new minority-owned businesses in the Parramore area.

Awarding $20.5 million in city contracts to Minority & Women Owned firms through the city’s Minority & Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Office this current fiscal year.

Connecting residents to careers in some of Orlando’s fastest growing industries including construction, distribution, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and transportation and logistics, through the city’s BluePrint 2.0 program.

Residents who are enrolled in one of more than these 100 job and vocational training opportunities are eligible for a subsidy in the amount of $125 per week to cover the costs of housing, food and other needs.

Investing a total of $300,000 in annual funding to the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) and Prospera to provide technical assistance to small minority-owned businesses.

Source: City of Orlando

Image: Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando, Florida

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Photo by: Miosotis Jade

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