By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.
More federal stimulus checks may not be coming, but states and counties are still sending targeted relief payments. The latest city to do so is California’s Palm Springs, where the city council recently approved a plan to send $900 monthly stimulus checks to some residents. Under the plan, the payment would specifically go to transgender and non-binary residents.
$900 Monthly Stimulus Checks: Who Will Get Them?
Palm Springs has set aside $200,000 for a pilot program, which would give money to the recipients without any stipulations on how to spend it. This pilot program is basically a universal income project under which eligible residents would get $900 monthly stimulus checks for 18 months.
As per the city officials, the money would only go to residents who meet a poverty threshold. Under the program, up to 20 transgender and non-binary Palm Springs residents would get $900 monthly stimulus checks. The plan was approved unanimously earlier this month.
This universal basic income project will be funded by taxpayers and managed by the LGBT advocacy group Queer Works and health center DAP Health.
“Our goal is to develop a model that impacts the greatest number of individuals possible. We hope our pilot will help confirm that guaranteed income is a cost-effective way to create positive outcomes,” David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health, said in a press release.
Though many believe the money to transgender and non-binary residents is well directed, some are of the opinion that such a program could backfire. Those against the program believe that such guaranteed or universal basic income programs eventually cause inflation and raise the cost of living.
On the other hand, supporters of the plan say that such a project was necessary as transgender and non-binary suffer disproportionally from mental health and poverty issues.
Many Cities Experimenting With Guaranteed Income Programs
After federal stimulus checks dried up, several states and counties have come up with guaranteed income programs to help their residents. The city of Newark, New Jersey, for instance, has expanded its basic income program to 400 residents, giving a total of $12,000 over two years.
Los Angeles has also come up with a new guaranteed income “Breathe” program. Under the program, eligible participants will get $1,000 a month for three years. The participants are free to spend the money on anything they want.
Compton, California also has a guaranteed income program, called Compton Pledge. The duration of the program is December 2020 to December 2022, and it gives $1,800 every three months for 2 years to 800 participants.
Stockton, California also experimented with a guaranteed income program called SEED (Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration). The plan was for two years, and it ended in February 2021. Under the plan, 125 participants got $500 every month for 2 years.
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