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Fairfax Co. to give eligible families monthly payments with new program – WTOP News

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The pilot will target families that are income constrained but make too much money to receive typical federal or local assistance.

Fairfax County will launch its Economic Mobility Pilot next month, which will provide 180 families with monthly payments of $750 for 15 months.

In addition to the payments, families will have access to “optional financial coaching and the opportunity to increase their social networks through virtual or in-person events,” the county website reads.

The pilot will target families that are income constrained but make too much money to receive typical federal or local assistance.

Pallas Washington, the county’s deputy director of neighborhood and community services, said this group is defined as asset-limited, income-constrained and employed (ALICE).

“These are working Fairfax County residents who are at that brink,” Washington said. “They’re working, but they’re limited in their income, and they’re one step away from needing assistance from our federal and local benefits.”

Washington said the COVID-19 pandemic shed a light on vulnerable residents throughout the county.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it really exposed how Fairfax County residents are so close to the brink of having insufficient resources or lack of resources to meet any of their emergencies or any of their needs,” she said.

To participate in the pilot, residents must:

  • Be employed
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have at least one child aged 16 years or younger living in the household
  • Reside in identified neighborhoods in one of the following ZIP codes:
    22306, 22309, 20190, 20191, 22041, 20170, 22003, 22150, 20120, or 20151
  • Have a total household income that falls between 150% and 250% of
    the 2023 Federal Poverty Level (which is outlined on their website)

The parameters for the program were established by a design team that consisted of community advisers, representatives of various county departments, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, Human Services Council representation and the county’s Chief Equity
Officer.

The amount of $750 was determined by “evaluating the cost of living in the county and the anticipated amount of time necessary to observe and assess the effects of guaranteed income on participants’ lives,” said Cristin Bratt, a spokesperson with the county’s neighborhood and community services.

There are no requirements on how families can spend the money — something Washington said is essential.

“We want to be able to respect that they have the ability to make the decisions for their families,” she said. “This will just be another opportunity for them to use the additional funding to continue to ensure that their family has the ability to maintain financial independence.”

Interested families must apply. The application process starts on Sept. 23 and ends on Oct. 3.

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