More than 1,500 apply for Ulster Co. UBI pilot
Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman only 48 hours after Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced plans to launch a Universal Basic Income pilot program in the county, more than 1,500 people had applied to participate. Through the program, 100 eligible Ulster County households will receive a guaranteed $500 monthly income from May 1 through April 30, 2022, for a total of $6,000 per recipient. Ryan said the outpouring of applications is a testament to the dire financial straits that many community members find themselves in, and the need for government leaders to find new and innovative ways to address the needs of their communities. Ryan said that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 40 percent of county residents were living paycheck to paycheck. The initiative is a partnership among the county's Project Resilience, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and Ulster Savings Bank. The $600,000 to support the program will come from Project Resilience so no taxpayer dollars will be spent on the effort. Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley will administer the program and the bank will set up bank accounts and provide debit cards. Penn will provide the academic component, monitoring how the recipients spend the money and evaluate the impact of the program on participants. The initiative is similar to the UBI pilot program taking place in cities across the nation, including one in the city of Hudson, which is providing a $500 monthly benefit to 25 individuals over a five-year period. Ulster County residents with incomes of up to $46,900 can apply to participate in the program by going to the Ulster County COVID-19 information page. Participants will be chosen via a lottery conducted by the University of Pennslyvania. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.