ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A new Guaranteed Income Pilot Program is launching in the city of Ann Arbor to help low to mid-income residents make ends meet through monthly payments for two years.
The program is a University of Michigan research initiative through poverty solutions.
A hundred Ann Arbor residents will receive $530 a monthly, but details on the exact qualifications are still in the works.
The city council passed the measure on Monday.
Council member Linh Song says the program aims to help reduce poverty in the city, especially for residents who took on side businesses to supplement their income.
"The idea behind this is really an effort towards pandemic recovery," Song said.
"That's where the funding is coming from federal funds that were afforded to Ann Arbor as part of the American rescue plan act. The motivation behind this was that we saw during the pandemic businesses of color really struggled to stay open, and we're talking about very small efforts here. Childcare at home, braiding hair, baking, we're not talking about small companies."
The $1.6 million program is being funded through federal dollars.
"Trying to figure out the increasing costs of food, childcare, rent then they can meet those needs directly, more immediately and this money will really make a difference in stabilizing their financial situations," Song said.
The social experiment received pushback from critics who say the program is vulnerable to fraud.
Song says the risks are minimum and applicants should be considered on a trust basis.
"This kind of assistance can be given on a trust base community partnership," Song said.
"Poverty is complicated. Poverty is ongoing but we should be able to trust folks who are experiencing this and community do what they can with this kind of money."
The first round of checks is expected to be disbursed in January 2024.
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