Over the past few years, the conversation around universal basic income — now often called guaranteed income — has shifted. This year, at the passage of President Biden’s stimulus package, which contained a temporary expansion of the child tax credit, the New York Times called the move one that would “greatly enlarge the safety net for the poor and the middle class.” Not bad for a paper that just five years ago called basic income “a poor tool to fight poverty.”
The shifting narrative has meant that whereas pilots and proposals to try guaranteed income were previously few and far between, cities large and small are now launching guaranteed income programs. Some are focused on certain demographics — artists, or youth exiting the foster system, or Black women — others are simply focusing on giving monthly, no-strings-attached money to people experiencing economic hardship.
Next City has covered many of these programs over the past two years or so. We’ve created this map to track their status. Let us know of any we missed.