Prince George’s County, Maryland, Council member Krystal Oriadha is proposing legislation to create a guaranteed basic income pilot program to help residents take care of their basic needs.
Oriadha said this program is modeled after a similar one in Stockton, California. If passed, the region’s program would let 200 low-income families participate and receive monthly cash stipends for 24 months.
Those in the program would receive direct cash to support their basic needs like food and utilities. The benefits would be eligible to residents who live at or below the poverty line.
“One of the most vulnerable populations in our county are senior citizens, who too often face financial hardship and are forced into bad living conditions, even homelessness,” said Oriadha.
According to data from the Prince George’s County Health Department, 5.58% of families live below the poverty line.
“We should be doing everything in our power to protect our senior residents and ensure that they are aging in place and with dignity. This bill will allow us to have a set amount of funds yearly so that we are able to assist our senior population when they are in most need,” Oriadha said.
She added there are no strings attached to this financial assistance, and it would be with aid from the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
“It will help us in fighting poverty and increase equity across the county,” she said.
D.C. did a similar pilot program last year when they put $900 a month into the bank accounts of 132 young mothers to take care to their daily needs.