The Montgomery County Council approved funding Tuesday to give 300 households $800 a month to try to lift them out of poverty.
The council unanimously voted to approve a special appropriation of nearly $2 million for the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. Through the program, households will get funds for 24 months with no strings attached.
“The Guaranteed Income Pilot Program is a solution to assist families in permanently exiting poverty,” Council President Gabe Albornoz said in a statement. “It honors a family's resilience by placing trust in their ability to make their own decisions on what is best for their path forward. The first of its kind in the State of Maryland, this program will help provide economic mobility to our most vulnerable residents and put an end to generational poverty.”
The Myer Foundation is part of the public-private partnership that will support the program and contributed $1 million.
Arlington County and the city of Alexandria have announced similar programs. Supporters say results in other parts of the country show recipients are more likely to obtain full-time jobs and manage health care needs, disproving the notion that a guaranteed income is a disincentive to work and an incentive for vice.
“People don’t have to worry about anybody living on $800 a month and not working,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said earlier this year.
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Planning is still underway to determine who will get the money.