Newark’s Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program Expands to 400 Residents in Second Phase

The program addresses the economic insecurity faced by Newark’s residents by providing $6,000 per year for two years

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The second phase of Newark’s guaranteed income pilot program has kicked off.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced Monday that 400 participants in the second phase of the program have been identified and the program is underway. 

Months ago, the Newark launched The Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE), a two-year research study that will give a guaranteed income (unconditional cash payments) to city residents, focusing on those experiencing housing insecurity. The program initially kicked off with 30 residents.

The program addresses the economic insecurity faced by Newark’s residents by providing $6,000 per year for two years. Newark joined 60 mayors across the country who have pledged to launch a guaranteed income pilot program in their respective cities. 

Although the program is in partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), the frequency at which individuals will receive disbursements will be a unique feature of Newark’s program: participants will receive payments on a bi-weekly and semi-annual basis, with 50% receiving $250 bi-weekly and the rest receiving $3,000 twice yearly.

“At a time when our city still faces the challenges of COVID-19 and its economic impact, the biggest and most important institution that we should be investing in is families,” Baraka said in a statement. “This will give our residents a much needed boost and allow them to participate in the economy, regain their economic independence and strength, and move toward prosperity. This type of intervention can support our economy and our future.”

On July 23, eligible Newark residents were invited to apply to the pilot program. Within two hours of its launch, the portal closed after receiving more than 1,200 applications, according to the city.

In order to qualify, individuals were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a Newark resident;

  • Must be at least 18 years of age;

  • Must possess an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line;

  • Must be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application process was launched in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR). This study will feature residents who will receive a guaranteed income and those who will not receive a guaranteed income in order to draw a comparison between both groups over a two-year period. All participants were randomly selected by CGIR.

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