Breaking News
More () »

Oakland launches guaranteed pay plan for low-income people

One of the first similar programs was launched in Stockton in 2019. Its results were released earlier this year.

OAKLAND, Calif. — The mayor of Oakland has announced a privately funded program to give low-income families of color $500 a month with no rules on how to spend it. 

The Oakland Guaranteed Income Pilot program is one of the largest forms of a guaranteed income project the U.S. so far. Its idea is that giving poor people a set amount of money each month will ease the stresses of poverty that contribute to poor health and hinder their ability to find full-time work. 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's program will include 600 families and last 18 months.

The idea isn't new, but it has received attention recently after progressive mayors launched similar programs across the country. The first program was launched in Stockton, California, in 2019. Schaaf tweeted that the city's goal is to "add to the body of evidence that unrestricted cash to our lowest-income residents – and particularly those who’ve suffered from historical racial inequity – can improve outcomes + change systems."

The results of the Stockton program were released earlier this year and found that the people who were involved in Stockton's guaranteed income initiative transitioned to full-time jobs and better health. Participants largely spent the money on food, followed by "sales/merchandise" which the report says is also food at "wholesale clubs and larger stores like Walmart and Target." Utilities and transportation were also categories that saw significant spending.


Watch more from ABC10:

Stockton's guaranteed income initiative resulted in full-time jobs and less depression

Before You Leave, Check This Out