ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of St. Louis families may soon get $500 payments each month through a new program.

The mayor’s office tells FOX 2 a bill in support of a Guaranteed Basic Income cash assistance program is making the rounds. A zoning committee approved the plan Thursday, which still needs to clear several steps before the board of aldermen votes.

Based on the plan, the city would allot nearly $5 million in local pandemic recovery funds and distribute them to families in need in the form of $500 monthly payments. The program would offer assistance to more than 400 poverty-stricken households for 18 months.

The goal of the program is to help parents or legal guardians in St. Louis who have lost money because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have children in public schools in the City of St. Louis, and make less than 170% of the Federal Poverty Level.

If approved, the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office would oversee the distribution of ARPA funds to St. Louis City residents. St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones briefly addressed the program Thursday in a discussion with St. Louis Public Radio staff.

Also on Thursday, Mayor Jones announced an executive order to create a reparations commission for the City of St. Louis.