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Los Angeles County says its 1,000-participant initiative will be among the nation’s longest-running.
One thousand Los Angeles County residents are now receiving $1,000 monthly payments under a guaranteed income program, according to the county.
Guaranteed income initiatives have gained traction across the country over the last few years. But LA County says its program is set to be one of the largest and longest-running of its kind, with participants getting $1,000 each month for the next three years.
These types of programs—also known as universal basic income—first garnered widespread attention in 2019, when Stockton, California launched its initiative. Since then, cities including Minneapolis, Seattle and Chicago have rolled out similar programs.
Participants in the LA County project—officially called Breathe: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program—live throughout the county, range in age from 18 to 91 and speak at least a half-dozen languages other than English, the county said.
Payments will be distributed via debit cards, and recipients can use the money however they see fit.
“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,” County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said in a statement.
The program launched on March 31. By April 18—the application deadline—more than 180,000 people had applied, according to the county.
To be eligible, residents had to meet certain requirements, including falling below a set income threshold. The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research—which is studying guaranteed income projects around the country—randomly selected the 1,000 people who will participate in the LA County initiative.
Both the government and philanthropic groups have committed to contributing funding for the program. Strength Base Community Change, a nonprofit organization, is the program administrator and will work with participants to help them reach their personal and financial goals.
Last year, California became the first in the country to approve a state-funded guaranteed income plan. Shortly after that, the city of Los Angeles launched a program to distribute $1,000 each month to 3,200 residents for a year.
Molly Bolan is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.