ST. LOUIS – A new board bill is proposing $500 payments to certain senior citizens who live within the city of St. Louis.

Alderwoman Laura Keys will formally introduce Board Bill No. 3 on Friday.

If approved, this would authorize the city to use ARPA funds and offer 12 monthly payments of $500 to various senior homeowners. The bill would make $12 million in ARPA funds available through Senior Citizens Homeowners Grants to offer such payments.

According to the bill, any senior citizens who “individually or jointly own and occupy dwellings and have owned and occupied said dwelling for a period of ten or more years” could qualify for payments. The bill further justifies the payments by starting the COVID-19 pandemic created negative economic impacts on assistance to households and small businesses.

The bill has not disclosed applicable ages for senior citizens, nor any other criteria for those who might be eligible for payments. It also states, “delay in receipt and appropriation of these monies will increase threats to the public health and welfare by causing delay in responding to the fiscal and other impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis.”

If approved, the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office would oversee the distribution of ARPA funds to St. Louis City residents. 

Unrelated to this bill, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones recently approved a system late last year known as a guaranteed basic income cash program. Through this, hundreds of families who meet criteria for financial assistance will receive $500 payments for 18 months.