More than 176,000 Chicago households apply for the city’s cash assistance program

CHICAGO (SCS) — More than 176,000 Chicago households have applied for the city’s Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program, which will begin sending monthly payments of $500 to about 5,000 low-income families in late June.

“The fact that so many people from across our city applied to this pilot underscores the need for us to innovate and reinvent the way we uplift people and their communities,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Putting money directly into the hands of those who need it most is one of the most efficient and effective ways for us to support residents who are working hard to regain economic stability.

According to the mayor’s office, the city received at least 300 applications from each of Chicago’s 50 neighborhoods.

The $31.5 million cash assistance package is part of the city’s COVID recovery plan, intended to help families hardest hit during the pandemic.

To be eligible for the program, residents must have lived in Chicago for at least one year, be 18 years of age or older, have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have a household income below $250. % of federal poverty line. . That’s $57,575 for a family of three, according to the mayor’s office.

According to the city, 64% of cash assistance program applicants live below 100% of the federal poverty level, and 40% live in extreme poverty or below 50% of the federal poverty level.

About 68% of applicants identified as black, 24% were Latino, 15% were white, and 3% were Asian.

The city accepted applications for cash assistance from April 25 to May 13 and will now hold a lottery to determine which eligible applicants will receive monthly payments of $500 for one year, starting in late June.

The city said the first phase of the selection process will create an initial lottery pool of approximately 13,000 people, prioritized by households living in poverty and those living in communities with existing economic hardship. These 13,000 households will then be placed in a final selection lottery and will be invited to participate in a research study.

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