Oakland Guaranteed Income Pilot Now Accepting Applications for Phase 2

Date Posted: October 20th, 2021 @ 2:58 PM
Last Updated: October 20th, 2021 @ 3:01 PM
Oakland Resilient Families picture

Oakland, California (October 20, 2021) — Starting today, families can apply to participate in Phase 2 of Oakland Resilient Families (ORF), one of the largest guaranteed income pilots in the country. Phase 2 will provide 300 families with low incomes $500 per month for 18 months. The application is online at OaklandResilientFamilies.org and available in six languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer and Arabic. The deadline to apply is November 3.

“Poverty is not a personal failure, it’s a policy failure,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “In Oakland, we’re proving we can create systems that deliver the most basic needs for our most vulnerable residents. We’re excited to expand our guaranteed income demonstration today and bring more opportunities to more families.”

To be eligible, families must meet three criteria: 1) Live in Oakland 2) Have a child in the household younger than 18 and 3) Have an annual household income of no more than 138% Federal Poverty Line as indicated in the chart below:

Household Size

Maximum Household Income

(138% FPL)

2

$20,040

3

$30,305

4

$36,570

5

$42,835

6

$49,100

7

$55,366

8

$61,631

9+

Add $6,266 per person in household

To ensure an equitable selection process, at the end of the application period, all applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be placed into a randomized lottery to select the final 300 participants. Additional details on the timeline are in the chart below:

Application period

October 20 - November 3

  • Closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on November 3

Randomized lottery

December*

Verification period

Approved families notified via email

*This is an approximation. The timeline may change.

Phase 1, which launched in June, was available for 300 families in five East Oakland census tracts — roughly one square mile in City Council Districts 6 and 7. The small geographic focus of the East Oakland phase is expected to provide evidence around the impact of guaranteed income on a community, not just on those who directly receive the financial investment.

East Oakland father Noe Salgado, one of the Phase 1 participants, says he used his first $500 payment to catch up on bills and help others in his family. Salgado has lived in Oakland since 1988 and said he’s also committed to helping the community.

“I want to keep the money in the community because I know it’s hard times,” he said. “So I’m going to try to buy in local businesses and restaurants.”

ORF began with a pledge to bring a guaranteed income program to Oakland when Mayor Schaaf joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) as a founding mayor in 2020. The organization was founded by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and the Economic Security Project.

"What we've seen from these pilots is that people don't stop working. People are just able to negotiate the type of work conditions they can tolerate,” said Tubbs who now serves as the chair for MGI. “People don't get lazy. People actually become more productive and are able to pay for childcare or to get their car fixed or do the things necessary to get to work. People are able to leave part-time jobs and work a full-time job."

The ORF pilot is a collaboration between MGI and Oakland-based nonprofit UpTogether (previously Family Independence Initiative). UpTogether is the implementation partner and Oakland Thrives is providing backbone support and coordination.

ORF is not a city-run program and is 100% funded through philanthropic donations.

To learn more and apply, visit oaklandresilientfamilies.org.

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