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Los Angeles County to Launch Universal Basic Income Program


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Los Angeles County will launch a $1,000 per month universal basic income program for 1,000 residents.

The $1,000 per month program will run for the next three years and is currently underway, officials say.

The recipients in the pilot program — which the county’s Board of Supervisors established to tackle poverty and income instability — were randomly chosen from a pool of more than 180,000 who applied, according to Fox 11 LA.

“Given the huge number of L.A. County residents who applied, it’s abundantly clear that a guaranteed basic income is an idea whose time has come,” L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told the station.

“I’m confident that we will see what other pilots have already shown: that a guaranteed basic income, by giving people a bit of financial breathing room, allows them to stabilize their lives and that of their family.”

“Three years from now, I feel confident that this L.A. County program will be seen as a foundation stone that led to expanded programs providing economic opportunity and stability to every eligible American household,” Kuehl added.

Fox Business reported:

Participants in Los Angeles County’s program must be 18 years old and have a household income under $56,000 for a single person or $96,000 for a family of four, amongst other requirements, Fox 11 LA reported.

The money is being transferred in the program through a debit card, with recipients reported to be ranging in age from 18 to 91, and speaking languages including Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Spanish and English, officials told the station.

The program’s administrator will keep in touch with participants throughout the program and assist them to help reach their personal and financial goals, Fox 11 LA added.

lacounty.gov states:

For this pilot program, only 1,000 participants would be randomly selected. Our researchers have now completed that process. Anyone who has not been contacted by the project team and participated in an onboarding process was not selected to receive the $1,000 monthly payments. Breathe is a pilot program which we hope will usher in something more expansive in the future that will serve more people in Los Angeles County.

There is a national movement happening to understand and address the real need in our community. This program is just the first step in the County’s determination to address poverty (the County has adopted a strategic plan for alleviating poverty that it is starting to implement, that focuses on the kinds of needs that were shared by applicants throughout the application process).

Business Insider provided additional information on other UBI schemes in America:

More economists and lawmakers have been calling for the introduction of UBI schemes as the pandemic both exacerbated and exposed huge income inequalities. Stockton’s mayor has since launched a coalition of dozens of US mayors working to push support for the schemes, and cities including Cambridge, Massachusetts, Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia have all launched pilot programs.

Earlier this year, the City of Los Angeles also launched a guaranteed income pilot program which is one of the biggest in the US so far.

The program is giving $1,000 a month for a year to about 3,200 families that are in poverty, have at least one dependent minor or be pregnant, and have experienced either financial or medical hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


 

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