More than 3,200 households in Los Angeles could be eligible to receive $1,000 per month for one year through the Basic Income Guaranteed: L.A. Economic Assistance Pilot program, also known as BIG:LEAP. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 7.
“When Los Angeles puts its stamp on a transformational issue, we don’t follow – we lead, and we believe that BIG:LEAP will pay large dividends for health and stability across our city and light a fire across our nation,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This program is a small but steady investment in a simple concept. When you provide resources to families that are struggling, it can give them the breathing room to realize goals that many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted – put food on the table and cover childcare with less stress, keep their children’s focus on education and pursue new opportunities with fewer worries about the day-to-day needs of their household.”
In the 2021-22 fiscal year budget, Garcetti proposed a $24-million guaranteed basic income project to be administered by the city’s Community Investment for Families Department. Additional investments have increased the total to $38 million for more than 3,200 families.
“It is unacceptable that one-third of working adults in Los Angeles are unable to support their families with full-time work alone,” said Council President Nury Martinez, 6th District. “The city’s BIG:LEAP program will be a lifeline to families who wouldn’t be able to afford a $500 emergency if one were to occur. The launch of this program marks a milestone in our progress towards a more equitable city.”
A total of 3,203 participants will be chosen at random for the program by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Participants will be invited to participate in the program and provide verification documentation in January. The mayor’s office, council offices and CIFD have worked with the center to design the program and develop the pilot initiative.
To qualify, applicants must reside in Los Angeles, be 18 or older, have at least one dependent child or be pregnant, have income at or below the federal poverty level and have experienced economic or medical hardship related to COVID-19.
“$1,000 a month can dramatically change a family’s circumstance, helping them to meet basic needs and eliminate the stress of living paycheck to paycheck,” said Abigail Marquez, general manager of the Community Investment for Families Department. “The emotional burdens and financial challenges that emerged due to COVID have devastated Angelenos living below the poverty threshold, and will outlast the pandemic itself. BIG:LEAP will help secure the safety and stability of some of our most vulnerable families here in Los Angeles.”
For information and to apply, visit bigleap.lacity.org.
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