El Monte approves guaranteed income pilot program for single moms

El Monte is joining the city and county of Los Angeles in introducing a guaranteed income pilot program, which will provide $500 per month to 125 eligible participants for one year, city officials announced Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the El Monte City Council approved a contract with RAND Corporation to administer the program, which will be funded by federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that were approved in December 2021.

"This is one of the most direct ways that we can deploy ARPA funds to the most vulnerable residents in our El Monte community," City Manager Alma Martinez said. "We are proud to partner with RAND, one of the most respected research organizations who will administer and evaluate the pilot program.

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"We look forward to joining the other cities in the United States that are using their precious resources to strive to make a difference in their communities by exploring new models of direct support to those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," Martinez added.

Eligible participants must be female heads of household (no spouse present), and El Monte residents with children under 18 years of age who have been impacted by COVID-19 with a verified household income at or below poverty level based on U.S. Department of Commerce thresholds.

Officials expect to initiate outreach and enrollment for the program in May.

Los Angeles County's pilot program will give 1,000 randomly selected residents $1,000 a month for three years. Participants must be at least 18 years old, have a household income under $56,000 for a single person or $96,000 for a family of four and have experienced negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county will begin accepting applications on March 31.

The city of Los Angeles also launched a guaranteed basic income program last year.

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