NJ City Launches ‘Guaranteed Income' Pilot That Will Give Residents $400 Per Month

Paterson officials say 110 residents who applied to the program will be randomly selected to receive monthly guaranteed income regardless of their employment status

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Universal basic income is coming to a city in New Jersey but only for select residents, for now.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh on Thursday announced the launch of a pilot program called Guaranteed Income where 110 people will be given $400 in cash payments each month for one year regardless of their employment status. Sayegh said similar programs have been a huge success in other cities in providing people with extra help.

"There's a story of the matriarch of a family, and all she ever wanted to do was host a Thanksgiving dinner for her entire family," Sayegh gave an example to reporters at a news conference. "She was precluded by the fact that she had economic constraints. She participated in the program a few years ago, for the first time ever, her whole family was over for Thanksgiving."

Sayegh is among more than 40 mayors who have joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, with others planning projects of their own.

After such a program was implemented in Stockton, California, in 2019, a study later showed that employment rates increased and people who received $500 per month reported lower rates of anxiety and depression.

Forty percent of the city's 125 recipients got full-time jobs and some paid off their debts, the Associated Press reported.

To qualify for the Paterson test program, applicants have to be a city resident who's 18 years old or older, according to the city's website. Only those with an individual income limit of $30,000 or a family income limit of $88,000 are eligible to apply.

Applications will officially open on April 12, and the deadline to apply is April 30.

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