Nevada accepts nearly $35 million in pandemic relief grants |

Nevada accepts nearly $35 million in pandemic relief grants

The Legislative Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday approved acceptance of four federal pandemic relief grants totaling nearly $35 million.

The money will support distance learning for K-12 students, rent relief, augmented food stamps funding and programs for seniors in assisted living facilities.

“It’s been a good meeting,” said IFC Chair Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, as she prepared to adjourn. “We’re making sure people have a roof over their head and are fed.”

By far the largest of the grants is $30 million in CARES Act money to the Nevada Housing Division to have a need for rental support because of damages from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Treasurer Zach Conine told members with an average two-bedroom apartment going for about $1,200, the grant translates to 25,000 months of rent payments for those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

To ensure the money gets to where it is needed, Steve Aichroth of the housing division said the money goes directly to the renter’s landlord.

Lawmakers were told the majority of the money, at least $20 million, will be disbursed in Clark County.

Lawmakers also approved $3.3 million sought by Superintendent of Education Jhone Ebert to sign three contracts with providers of distance learning systems to, among other things, expand Broadband access in Nevada and implement a statewide learning management system.

They also approved an $848,628 grant that will implement the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program designed to provide additional food assistance to families of children who currently receive meals through the National School Lunch Program. Robert Thompson, deputy administrator for the Welfare and Supportive Services Division that administers the free and reduced lunch program, said kids on that program will automatically get the benefits which will be added to their parent’s debit cards.

They qualify for $5,70 per day per child. Those eligible for the payments retroactively for three months, he said, will get a total of $296 per child.