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Alexandria seeking qualified locals to receive $500 a month for two years

If you live alone and make less than $49,850 per year, you might be eligible to pick up a check for $500 every month.

The City of Alexandria has put some of its Covid funding to use with a guaranteed basic income pilot a bit of a backronym: Alexandria’s Recurring Income for Success and Equity (ARISE).

The program, led by the Department of Community and Human Services, involves 170 randomly selected individuals who meet certain household income limits. Those selected will be provided with $500 every month for 24 months to spend in any way they choose.

Those who meet the income eligibility requirements can apply online from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9.

Household income eligibility for ARISE Guaranteed Income Pilot (image via City of Alexandria)

“Guaranteed income pilots have proven to impact poverty and economic inequity by enabling participants to determine for themselves the budgetary strategies that will most benefit them and their families,” the city said in a release. “ARISE will help the city test a bold, new way to ensure people have what they need to make decisions to support their well-being.”

The idea of a guaranteed income, or a universal basic income, has been a hot topic in recent years, implemented in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego.

“We are providing financial resources to individuals and families so they are empowered to decide how to best meet the needs in their lives,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in the release. “We are creating this unique program to evolve the ways that we assist our neighbors in need of extra support. That is what ARISE is about.”

There are no citizenship or work requirements to be eligible, but individuals must be City of Alexandria residents who are 18 years or older and earn less than the caps above. Those caps are set at below 50% of Alexandria’s area median income.

“A community webinar on October 25 from 7-8 p.m. will provide information about the ARISE study and how to apply,” the city said in the release. “Amharic, Arabic and Spanish interpretation will be available. All eligible City residents are encouraged to apply for a chance to receive extra income and the ability to make choices that could improve their financial well-being, quality of life and future.”

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