A new bill has been introduced in Washington state which aims to provide an evergreen basic income pilot program for those in need.
This legislation is aimed at helping residents support essential needs, with an emphasis on rent. The bill would give eligible Washington residents monthly payments that equal 100 percent of the fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit, which ranges between $892 to $2,199 depending on the area.
To qualify for the program, there are certain requirements that must be met. Income must not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For singles, this amount was $27,180 in 2022, while it was $55,500 for a family of four.
Additionally, Washington applicants that are at least 18 years old must meet at least one of the following criteria: experiencing homelessness, currently pregnant, immigrant, asylee, or refugee, have a disability or behavioral health disorder, be a parent with at least one child that’s younger than five years old, exiting from foster care, juvenile justice, or criminal justice systems, leaving a relationship or living situation due to domestic violence.
The payments ranging from $892 to $2,199 would go out to as many as 7,500 participants. Also, if the number of applicants exceeds that number, applications will be selected randomly. The payments arrive for 24 consecutive months.
Passage of the Bill:
It is important to note that the bill is not guaranteed to pass as action has yet to be taken by the House Committee.
Other Income Programs:
This news comes as various states and cities have kicked off their own guaranteed income programs in the past year or so. One local program in Washington supported Tacoma residents, with 110 people getting $500 a month for one year. The monthly payments wrapped up in December 2022.
Elsewhere, a group of Ohio residents in Yellow Springs and Miami Township will get a total of $7,200 in payments over 24 months. The program is currently in its first cohort but the second one is set to launch in 2023.
This bill represents a step forward in the effort to provide financial assistance to those in need, particularly in relation to housing. However, the bill has yet to be passed and there are still many unknowns regarding the program's exact timeline and implementation.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What are your thoughts on this proposed bill and the idea of a basic income program? Have you or anyone you know participated in a similar program in the past?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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