By CBSLA Staff

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – Artists in Long Beach who are struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic could soon get some financial help under a program proposed Tuesday.

FILE — Mayor Robert Garcia speaks on Sept. 21, 2019. (Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has suggested a plan to give Long Beach artists up to $500 per month that would go towards paying rent.

The program would be similar to a rental assistance program that the city launched this summer using federal aid from the CARES Act. That program provided rental assistance to 1,770 applicants who were selected through a random lottery.

“We know that the arts have been one of the areas hardest hit by the pandemic,” Garcia said in a statement. “With events coming to a halt in March, there is no doubt that these workers are struggling. This new guaranteed income program would help our artists support their basic needs and make it through this difficult period.”

The goal of Long Beach’s rent relief programs is to “lay the groundwork for a pilot universal basic income program planned for launch in 2021.”

Last month, the city of Compton announced it was launching the nation’s largest universal basic income program, with plans to distribute regular cash payments to about 800 low-income residents for two years.

The Long Beach City Council will discuss Garcia’s proposal at its Nov. 17 meeting.

(An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated the amount of monthly assistance.)

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