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Los Angeles Now Has The Largest City Basic Income Program In The U.S.

Ashlyn Davis Ashlyn Davis

basic income la

Roughly 3,200 households will receive $1,000 monthly direct cash transfers for a period of 12 months without conditions attached.

On Wednesday, a new L.A. initiative was launched which will provide assistance for around 3,000 residents in need, particularly those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. L.A. mayor  Eric Garcetti announced the launch of the application window for the “Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot,” (BIG: LEAP). The new program totaling nearly $40 million, will begin accepting applications Friday, October 29 until the window closes on November 7.

Successful applicants will receive $1,000 monthly, direct cash payments for 12 months, no strings attached. The initiative makes Los Angeles the largest city in the United States to launch a basic income program.

“When Los Angeles puts its stamp on a transformational issue, we don’t follow — we lead, and we believe that BIG:LEAP will pay large dividends for health and stability across our city and light a fire across our nation,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a press release. “This program is a small but steady investment in a simple concept: When you provide resources to families that are struggling, it can give them the breathing room to realize goals that many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted: put food on the table and cover childcare with less stress, keep their children’s focus on education and pursue new opportunities with fewer worries about the day-to-day needs of their household.”

What is required to qualify for the basic income:

  • Live in the City of Los Angeles,
  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Have at least one dependent child OR be pregnant,
  • Have experienced a medical or economic hardship related to COVID-19, and
  • Have an income level at or below the federal poverty line.
family of four falls below the poverty line with an annual income of $26,500. The 3,000 Los Angeles families who will benefit from the initiative will be picked at random from the applications received.
According to the program’s website, two out of every 10 residents in the City of Los Angeles are affected by poverty, and the majority are people of color. The mayor hopes to use this new program as a means of changing racial inequality supporting those who need it most within L.A.
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