Minneapolis will soon support 200 families with its new guaranteed basic income pilot, an experiment in alleviating poverty by paying low-income households $500 per month for two years, no strings attached.
The city has set aside $3 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the program. Households must earn less than 50% of area median income to be eligible. The program echoes a similar experiment that St. Paul launched in 2020 and dozens of other cities nationwide, whose leaders have made testing grounds to inform federal welfare policies.
Minneapolis wanted to try guaranteed basic income because federal COVID money offered an opportunity for something radically different to address the city’s intractable racial disparities, said Erik Hansen, the city’s Director of Economic Policy and Development.
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