Over the next two years, low-wage DC workers, including undocumented DC residents, will start receiving on average a monthly basic income of $300 from DC government
Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), one of the co-chairs of the Council’s Special Committee on Recovery of the COVID-19 Pandemic, applauds the inclusion of funding to expand the District’s forthcoming monthly basic income to add the District’s undocumented workers – one of the key recommendations made by the Special Committee in March.
The Council will debate and hold the first of two votes on the budget later today beginning at noon.
“The District is on its way to having one of the most generous benefits in the nation for low-wage working residents. Starting next year, low-wage workers will start seeing an average of $300 a month in their bank account, a priority of mine in last year’s budget I am proud to say we got done,” said Councilmember Allen. “Now the Council is proposing extending those same benefits to undocumented DC workers as well. I don’t think folks understand how big of a deal this will be for low-wage households and the District as a whole – we are talking about tens of thousands of families that could use some extra money in the family budget.”
Last year, Councilmember Allen led an effort to create the monthly basic income as part of the Hearts and Homes Amendment. DC’s monthly basic income is an expansion of DC’s local Earned Income Tax Credit, and turns that local fund into a monthly payment, rather than an annual refund.
This benefit supports low-wage workers and their families earning less than $53,000 (or so, depending on the year) and will provide an average of $300 a month with no strings attached to help with rent or mortgage, putting food on the table or any other expense for the family over the next two years.
“Given that the federal child tax credit has died in the US Senate, it is critical the District make every effort to restore that critical lifeline to low-income residents,” said Councilmember Allen.
The Special Committee’s final report created a roadmap (DCist) to make major gains in closing gaps in racial household income, educational achievement, small business ownership, and more. To do this, the committee urges many recommendations to the Mayor and Council, including:
- Use the District’s sterling credit rating to back small businesses, particularly Black and brown owned-businesses, competing with national chains;
- Extend the District’s new monthly basic income program, created in last year’s budget and set to begin in 2023, to undocumented, low-wage workers;
- Pass Metro for DC and provide every DC resident $100 a month to use on transit;
- Ensure no households or neighborhoods are disconnected from high-speed internet by 2024;
- Create a portable subsidy for after- and out-of-school support for low-income children that would support working parents and keep children safe.