LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) —Los Angeles residents have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 to submit their applications for the guaranteed basic income program.
The L.A. City Council unanimously voted to expand the city’s initial $6 million investment in the BIG:LEAP, which stands for Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot, to nearly $40 million, making it the largest such program in the nation.READ MORE: Suspicious Vehicle In Beverly Hills Prompts Response From Bomb Squad
City Councilman Curren Price, who proposed the program, called it a “life-changing initiative.”
The program promises to benefit as many as 3,000 Angelenos with $1,000 in direct cash payments to families every month for a year. The no-strings-attached payments will be given to families who have been hit hard by the pandemic and are living in poverty. More than a quarter of the participants will be residents in Price’s District 9, which has the highest percentage of people living in poverty at 12.3%, according to a June report exploring the possibility of the program.
“The idea of a guaranteed pilot program is one my office has been following for some time, and it gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic,” Price said. “It became clear this program was necessary in following the positive results of the Stockton Seed Program.”READ MORE: Retailers Left In Fear After Recent Rash Of Smash-And-Grab Robberies
Price said he hopes this pilot could serve as a model at the state and federal level.
About $27.4 million was approved for the program citywide, which includes about $3.4 million for Price’s district. Price’s office will provide another $6 million from its Guaranteed Basic Income Funds. The offices of Council District 6, 8 and 10 also provided additional funding from their offices’ GBI funds, totaling more than $5 million. The council also approved nearly $4 million for research and design services related to the pilot program.
The 10-day application period opens Friday. The program is open to adults with at least one dependent or is pregnant, is a Los Angeles resident, has an income at or below the federal poverty level, and have experienced a medical or economic hardship due to COVID-19. Applicants who will be selected at random will be required to provide eligibility documentation to prove they meet these requirements.
The funds will be distributed through a MocaFi debit card, which will be reloaded with $1,000 every month. The first disbursement is anticipated to occur in January of 2022.MORE NEWS: Three Injured In Hyde Park Shooting, Two Reported To Be In Critical Condition
Price’s district office will serve as a command center during the application window to assist his constituents, and additional sites — including libraries and the All Peoples Community Center and Trade-Tech College — will provide computers, Wi-Fi and language support to help Council District 9 residents apply.