Guaranteed income programs are becoming increasingly popular in cities and towns across the country
By Dan McGowan
Providence is ready to roll out its guaranteed income program – in pilot form.
Mayor Jorge Elorza will announce Tuesday that the city plans to give $500 a month to 110 low-income Providence households for one year, a no-strings-attached program designed supplement existing social safety net programs.
Elorza will unveil more details at a 1 p.m. press conference at the Amos House. It’s unclear if the households have already been selected or whether a separate control group of households who won’t receive the financial incentive will be tracked over the course of the year.
Guaranteed income programs are becoming increasingly popular in cities and towns across the country.
Elorza is a member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of more than 50 municipal leaders that are attempting to implement their own versions of a monthly cash benefit program.
Los Angeles is in the process of launching a $1,000-a-month pilot program for 2,000 families. Columbia, South Carolina, recently launched a program to give 100 local fathers $500 a month for two years. In Paterson, New Jersey, 110 participants will receive $400 a month for one year.
Elorza has raised more than $1.1 million in cash and in-kind donations for the program, including a $500,000 donation from Square CEO Jack Dorsey. Wend Collective, a social impact fund started by Walmart heir James Walton, donated $100,000.
It’s unclear if tax dollars will be spent during the pilot phase, and there’s no guarantee that the program will continue after the first year.