Cloud-based building permit software can help American counties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide housing crisis. And government funding can help.

Local governments across the country were affected by state laws requiring office closures, mask mandates, and social distancing when the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality in North America at the beginning of 2020. Now, 18 months (about 1 and a half years) later, the pandemic still carries on and so do restrictions.

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law in March of this year to help Americans respond to the virus. On top of health impacts, there are undoubtedly economic impacts as well – ARPA can help support local governments with the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Counties are eligible for funding to help mitigate the significant repercussions caused by the pandemic and get communities back on track. The funding is allocated based on population for each county across the country, as seen below from the National Association of Counties, and can push better public services and faster community development forward for countless citizens and communities.

Better public services include better building permit approval processes to benefit community development. Especially now during a nationwide housing crisis, the time to build, and build faster, more effectively, and in a more efficient way, is now.

American counties can combat the housing crisis with online and simple building permit processes...and be supported by ARPA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How? By adopting cloud-based building permit software.

·      Remote and accessible permit submission, review, and approval for 24/7/365 access and no travel time to the government office

·      No more incomplete permit applications, only complete permit application submissions, for a cleaner and simpler building permit experience

·      Automatic permit status and inspection status updates via email reduce front counter visits, emails, and phone calls about where an applicant’s permit sits

·      Permit issuance at least 50% faster than paper-based or on-premises systems so department staff have more time to give to other tasks

·      Online communication and collaboration with staff, applicants, builders, contractors, designers, engineers, third-party agencies, and everyone involved in each permit speeds up timelines with less back-and-forth communication, reduces misunderstandings, and leads to faster response times

·      On-site mobile inspections and ‘quick pass’ inspections for faster processes

·      Interactive maps with GIS (geographic information system) integration to easily select permit location, read and display property information, plan and navigate inspector routes, and accurately calculate property size

·      Improved data security with password-protected accounts, ability to manage access to each permit, and all data stored in the U.S.

·      Decrease in printing, operational, and travel costs for department staff

·      Future-proofed processes for any potential natural or manufactured disasters

An expedited and more efficient building permit workflow, from submission to issuance, means American counties can start to recover from the economic burdens of COVID-19 while simultaneously combating the nationwide housing crisis. It is a win-win solution.

The funding is available for populations greater than 50,000, and less than 50,000, so now is an ideal time to take advantage of the additional help with cloud-based building permit software.

For more information about the ARPA funding through the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds or to learn more about how cloud-based building permit software, like Cloudpermit, can help your local government, get in touch. You can also request funding here.