The Biggest Guaranteed Income Trial in the US Is Launching in Chicago

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The idea of universal basic income has been gaining steam for several years, with proponents like Andrew Yang touting such programs as a possible solution to unemployment resulting from growing automation across various sectors of the economy. The pandemic increased calls for government assistance to those in need as millions were left unemployed. Dozens of US cities have tried some kind of guaranteed income program, including Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Newark.

Now the nation’s third-largest city, Chicago, is getting ready to launch its own guaranteed income pilot, with plans to distribute $500 a month to 5,000 families for a year. These figures will make the program the largest in the US, surpassing LA’s Economic Assistance Pilot, which is distributing $1,000 a month to 3,000 families for a year.

The Resilient Communities pilot is part of Chicago’s 2022 recovery budget, which totals $16.7 billion and includes $2 billion in pandemic relief funds the city received from the federal government. The program is expected to cost $31.5 million.

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