FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — This fall, 180 families will be selected randomly for a pilot program, through which they’ll receive monthly payments of $750 for 15 months.
The Fairfax County Economic Mobility Pilot will cost $2 million and will be funded through COVID-era ARPA funding.
Recipient families, who will be chosen at random, have to live in one of the program’s designated zip codes (22306, 22309, 20190, 20191, 22041, 20170, 22003, 22150, 20120, or 20151). Participants must have an annual income that falls between 150% and 250% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that means an income between $45,000 and $75,000 per year.
Similar pilot programs are operated in both Arlington County and Alexandria.
The Arlington pilot is funded privately by the Arlington Community Foundation (ACF) , in partnership with the Arlington County Department of Human Services. In that program, 200 people currently receive $500 each month.
“It’s distinct from Universal Basic Income. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It’s designed to redistribute wealth to people who have not had the opportunity to accrue property, assets and income at the same level that many others have. this movement is a way to deal with some of the inequities in our society,” said ACF Executive Director of Grants and Initiatives.
“The movement is solutions-oriented. Trusting people to set goals and accomplish them when they have not only the resources but the support and trust of people around them and their community,” Brian Marroquin, ACF Program Officer said.
“Folks just said they were waiting for a break, they were waiting for someone to give them some newfound hope,” Marroquin said. “Folks have tried different things, they’ve tried education. A lot of folks talked about maybe trying community college before or trying to start a business. Just facing some barriers if they weren’t successful the first try.”
The overarching goal of the guaranteed income is to create federal policy to redistribute wealth to disadvantaged communities, Anne Vor der Bruegge told DC News Now.
“There’s no way that local government or philanthropies can sustain this,” Vor der Bruegge said.