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U.S. Cities Try Pilot Programs for Guaranteed Minimum Income

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Apr. 4 2022, Published 2:55 p.m. ET

The concept of a UBI (universal basic income) is one that has circulated for many years. Politicians and economists have discussed the idea of UBI for reasons like AI impacting the job market. While the U.S. is a long way from implementing this nationally, there are some cities with guaranteed minimum income.

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Cities are experimenting with some form of guaranteed income, generally for one to two years. While a purely “universal” basic income would pay the same amount to everyone regardless of economic circumstances, the cities listed here are piloting these programs for a select population.

Some U.S. cities have guaranteed minimum income programs as of 2022.

A number of cities currently have or are launching guaranteed minimum income programs. These programs aren't universal basic income. Instead, they target eligible groups such as single parents, Black women, or community college students.

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Birmingham, Ala.: Embrace Mothers provides $375 monthly for 12 months to female-identifying heads of household caring for at least one child.

Alaska: All Alaska residents may apply for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which is an annual payment.

Phoenix, Ariz.: $1,000 monthly to about 1,000 families for 12 months.

Denver, Colo.: It’s starting a basic income program for people experiencing homelessness in 2022.

Gainesville, Fla.: This program is for Alachua County residents who have been in prison. The payment is $1,000 initially and $600 monthly for 11 months after that.

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Atlanta, Ga.: The program will pay an average of $850 monthly to 650 women for two years.

Chicago, Ill.: For those enrolled in city colleges or with dependents in Chicago schools, who have income at or below 300 percent of the poverty level. It pays $500 monthly to 5,000 families.

indiana payment
Source: GIVEIndiana Facebook
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Gary, Ind.: $500 monthly to 100 residents for up to 18 months.

New Orleans, La.: $350 monthly to young people in a financial literacy program.

Shreveport, La.: $600 monthly for a year to 100 single parents or legal guardians of school-aged children.

Montgomery, Md.: May begin a program providing $800 per month to 300 families for two years.

Massachusetts: Cambridge, Chelsea, and Lynn all have guaranteed income programs.

Minneapolis, Minn.: 200 families will receive $500 monthly for two years.

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St. Paul, Minn.: $500 monthly for 18 months for those in CollegeBound Saint Paul.

Jackson, Miss.: The Magnolia Mother’s Trust pays $1,000 monthly to eligible Black mothers.

St. Louis, Mo.: $500 monthly to at least 9,300 families.

New Jersey: Newark and Paterson both started programs in 2021.

Santa Fe, N.M.: An educational program provided $400 monthly for one year.

Durham, N.C.: $500 monthly to over 100 residents for one year.

Pittsburgh, Pa.: $500 monthly to 200 participants for 24 months.

Providence, R.I.: $500 monthly for a year to 110 participants.

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$500 is a common minimum income payment
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Columbia, S.C.: $500 monthly to eligible fathers

Alexandria, Va.: $500 monthly for 24 months

Richmond, Va.: $500 monthly for a year to end in 2022.

Tacoma, Wash.: $500 monthly for one year.

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Washington, D.C.: $900 monthly to new parents and pregnant women in certain wards.

Wisconsin: Programs in Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau aren't finalized but may be in development.

The state of California has several cities trying these programs: Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Marin County, Mountain View, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, County of Santa Clara, and South San Francisco.

Hudson, Ithaca, Mount Vernon, and Ulster County have started guaranteed minimum income programs in New York.

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