Austin pilot program to provide struggling residents $1,000 monthly

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin is on the point of transfer on a pilot program that can give residents going through excessive hardship $1,000 monthly for a 12 months.

The assured earnings program — much like others across the nation — is supposed to assist probably the most susceptible in the neighborhood, equivalent to households getting ready to eviction, and individuals who have not too long ago discovered themselves on the road.

A complete of 85 recipients will participate within the pilot, in keeping with metropolis paperwork.

The metropolis’s Equity Office on Friday declined to provide KXAN additional particulars as to how the recipients could be chosen, what {qualifications} would must be met and when the appliance course of may open.

An workplace spokesperson indicated extra data could be revealed when this system goes earlier than metropolis council at subsequent Thursday’s common assembly.

Austin City Council included the $1.1 million in funding for the initiative in final summer time’s funds. The concept got here from the town’s Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) activity drive.

“A lot of the research we did showed us that increasing police does not make the city safer,” RPS co-chair Paula X. Rojas instructed KXAN. “But there are many other programs that can actually prevent the need for policing. One of those is this guaranteed monthly income.”

Mayor Steve Adler, a proponent of this system, highlighted the excessive prices related to treating and caring for many who discover themselves on the Austin’s streets.

“It’s really expensive for our community when that happens,” Adler instructed KXAN. “Maybe if we can give somebody some assistance just before that happens, we can keep them in their homes.”

The initiative will praise and increase on one other assured earnings pilot that simply wrapped up within the space, this one funded by way of charitable teams and the California-based nonprofit UpTogether, which advocates for folks in “historically undervalued communities.”

Similar pilots are underway in cities throughout the U.S., together with Los Angeles and Chicago. Most are modeled on a 2019 program in Stockton, California.

A report on the Stockton program’s first 12 months confirmed earnings recipients noticed their monetary conditions stabilize, and a few had been capable of begin saving for sudden prices.

Others benefited with jobs.

“The folks who received the guaranteed income were more like to have full-time employment at the end of the year,” stated Madeline Neighly with the Economic Security Project, an advocacy group that helped fund the Stockton program.

Austin City Council member Leslie Pool was the one vote in opposition to the funding for this system final summer time.

At the time, Pool indicated although she agrees with the concept of assured earnings, she believes the federal authorities is healthier suited to deal with it, one thing she reiterated to KXAN on Friday,

“My concerns regarding a locally-funded guaranteed income program are due to questions about how to sustain a program like this over time, since our city is looking at a very lean future in terms of providing even the most basic city services, due to state-imposed revenue caps on municipalities,” Pool stated in a press release.

Some Austin residents, coping with monetary hardships of their very own, expressed frustration with the plan on social media, believing this system is unfairly “giving out free money.”

“There’s going to be pushback, and I hope that people will see the benefit,” stated Monica Guzman, a member of the RPS activity drive and the coverage director for GoAustin/VamosAustin (GAVA), a coalition of group organizers.

“My message to them is think about your families,” Guzman stated. “If you had a family member, brother, sister, child, and they were struggling, wouldn’t you want this kind of program available for them?”

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