Coronavirus Advocacy Resources
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined construction and code enforcement as essential to the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic and no state has found otherwise. The Code Council conducted a survey which showed that 6 in 10 departments experienced or expected budget cuts, while 5 in 10 respondents did not have the capability to remotely carry out critical aspects of their work at a time when nearly half had important personnel working remotely. Governments can utilize federal funding under the recently enacted American Rescue Plan to assist departments in continuing their essential functions by maintaining or restoring staffing and operations and by addressing their virtual needs for remote work.
As a member of the building industry, we urge you to join us in advocating for funding for code departments to ensure our buildings are built in a safe, timely, and efficient manner during the age of virtual work and COVID-19. We encourage you to connect with the ICC Government Relations staff liaison for your area to coordinate your advocacy. Click here to go to the contact map below.
A customizable form letter for use with local American Rescue Plan decision makers can be downloaded here. The letter requests funding to assist code departments in increasing capabilities to operate effectively in a remote environment.
2021 American Rescue Plan
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments through Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF). The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has finalized funding allocations for all government types. Those allocations, and Treasury’s methodologies, can be found here.
According to Treasury guidance and its FAQ, FRF resources can be used to for code department hardware and software investments. In a 2021 National Association of State Chief Information Officers (CIO) survey, 94% of CIOs said that the COVID-19 pandemic increased and accelerated the demand for digital government services. Testimonials on how code departments successfully utilized prior federal pandemic response funding through the CARES Act for virtual capability needs can be found here and here.
Additionally, unlike the CARES Act funding, FRF resources may be used to rehire public sector staff, up to 7.5% above pre-pandemic staffing levels, and “to provide government services to the extent necessary because revenues have declined due to the pandemic,” so long as the funds are not used to replace revenues lost because of tax cuts. Per a prior Code Council survey, roughly 6 in 10 code departments experienced or expected budget cuts. Jurisdictions facing revenue downturns will be able to use FRF resources for department staff salaries and operations.
As this new funding is made available, Code Council members, partners, and allies are encouraged to reach out to their state, county, city, or other local government and advocate for their code department’s needs, including expanding their virtual capabilities.
ARP Resources: (Updated - February 2022)
- ICC Fact Sheet on ARP
- ARP One-pager - learn more about code council solutions covered by ARP federal funding.
- Talking Points to Advance Your Department
- Customizable Form Letter for use with local decision makers. This letter requests funding to assist code departments in increasing capabilities. to operate effectively in a remote environment.
Webinar 1: Community Development Solutions (originally aired on 6/9/2021)
Webinar 2: Digital Codes Premium
(originally aired on 7/14/21)
Recording password: PbS8JGJ8
Webinar 3: Exploring Custom I-Codes
September 9, 2:00pm ET
Recording password: fXuET73T
Compare the benefits of the CARES Act of 2020 to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 by downloading the infographic below.
Assistance through the Administration and Congress
On May 1, 2020, the Code Council led letters to congressional leadership, FEMA, and the National Security Council (NSC) encouraging they direct additional federal resources to help code departments develop virtual capabilities. More than 50 organizations and businesses supported these efforts, representing state and local government, residential and commercial contractor, building owners/manager, manufacturer, insurance, housing, energy efficiency, renewable energy, engineering, design, and resilience interests:
- Joint Letter to Congressional Leadership Supporting Virtual Capabilities for Code Departments
- Joint Letter to FEMA/NSC Supporting Virtual Capabilities for Code Departments
We encourage you to connect with ICC's Washington D.C. Governmental Affairs Office to coordinate your advocacy on federal issues.