Oakland, California (June 8, 2021) — Oakland Resilient Families, one of the largest guaranteed income pilots in the country, is now accepting applications for its East Oakland group. The pilot, a collaboration between Oakland-based nonprofit UpTogether (previously Family Independence Initiative) and the national Mayors for a Guaranteed Income will provide 600 families with low incomes $500 per month for 18 months, beginning with this first group of 300 in East Oakland.
“Poverty is not a personal failure, it is a policy failure,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “Guaranteed income presents one of the most promising tools for systems change, racial equity, and economic mobility we’ve seen in decades. We’re proud to begin the first phase of Oakland Resilient Families, which we believe will add to the growing body of evidence that the time has come for a guaranteed income at the federal level.”
The pilot includes two phases. Phase 1, which launched today, is for 300 families in five East Oakland census tracts shown in the map below, roughly one square mile in City Council Districts 6 and 7. (This area is approximately bound between Havenscourt Blvd to 94th Ave and between International Blvd and MacArthur Blvd. Here is a more detailed map.) Families can apply until 5 p.m. on June 30 via an online application, which is accessible in both English and Spanish.
“For many of our low-income residents in East Oakland an additional $500 means having enough money to purchase healthy groceries, pay for proper child-care, maintain adequate housing, and/or secure other tools that will not only economically advance their families but our community as a whole,” said Councilmember Treva Reid. “In our continuous effort to create a thriving East Oakland, I look forward to realizing this pilot’s intended socioeconomic impact.”
“With the launch of this guaranteed income pilot, East Oakland families will have an opportunity to alleviate long-held economic inequities and receive support in reaching their full financial potential,” said Councilmember Loren Taylor. “As we explore similar programs on a federal, state and local levels, I look forward to utilizing the data this pilot produces to build out a better and stronger East Oakland”
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 those who directly receive the financial contribution.
The application period for phase 2 is scheduled to launch later this summer. It will be open to households with low incomes citywide. Interested families can sign up to be notified when the citywide application is released.
While the pilot focuses on families with the greatest wealth disparities per the Oakland Equity Index — Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities — any family living in the area above with a low income and at least one child under 18, regardless of documentation status, is welcome to apply. Low income is defined as at or below 50% of the area median income, which is about $61,650 per year for a family of 3.
“This pilot is an investment in families and communities that have been undervalued and financially under-resourced for far too long. It’s an opportunity to build evidence to prove that when you invest in families and give them the choice to use the investment how they see fit, you accelerate not just their economic mobility, but that of the entire community, too,” said Jesús Gerena, UpTogether CEO.
Space is limited, so to ensure an equitable selection process, at the end of each application period, all applicants who meet eligibility criteria will be placed into a randomized lottery to select the final 600 participants, 300 from each of the two phases.
- Phase 1 application period - June 8-30, Closes at 5 p.m. PST on June 30
- Phase 1 randomized lottery - Starting July 1
- Phase 1 selected families notified via email - Mid-July
- Phase 2 - Summer 2021
Oakland Resilient Families 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. It’s not a city-run program and is 100% funded through philanthropic donations.
UpTogether is the implementation partner and Oakland Thrives is providing backbone support and coordination.
For more information visit oaklandresilientfamilies.org.
Application available at fund.uptogether.org/eastoakland. (The URL is case sensitive.)
Link to view June 8 press conference.