Recipients largely spent the monthly $1,000 on basic necessities like housing and food, which mirrors results of similar programs in other U.S. cities.
Business Insider recently reported on the results of the Austin Guaranteed Income Pilot — the first program of its kind in Texas — which gave 135 low-income families $1,000 a month for a year. Participants were allowed to spend the money however they wished, and after the pilot ended last August, they reported spending more than half of it on housing.
A report from the Urban Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, said participants in Austin’s program “were ‘substantially more housing secure’ than when they enrolled, while other Texas residents with low incomes became ‘modestly less housing secure’ over the same period,” according to the Insider article by Kenneth Niemeyer.
Niemeyer reports that many other cities around the U.S. are also “experimenting with basic-income projects to address rising homelessness and support their most vulnerable residents,” including Baltimore and Denver. Those programs also reported increased housing security for recipients.
Despite these results, guaranteed-income programs remain controversial. Earlier this month, Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, launched a guaranteed-income program called Uplift Harris that gives low-income residents $500 a month, but State Sen. Paul Bettencourt sent a letter to the state’s attorney general asking him to declare the program unconstitutional, based on a section of the Texas constitution that says the legislature cannot give any county power to grant public money for the aid of an individual.
“The county's attorney told the Houston Chronicle that Bettencourt was ‘more focused on political games and weaponizing government institutions than making life better for the people of Harris County,’” writes Niemeyer.
Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape
Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.
The Changing Shape of American Suburbs
Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.
Clearer Thinking About Transportation Pricing
It’s time to reform transportation pricing to reduce traffic congestion, crashes, and pollution, and improve non-auto travel options. Raise my prices, please!
Proposal Would Link Highway Funding to Zoning
Experts argue that zoning, housing, and transportation policy are intimately linked.
White House Announces $5.8 Billion in Water Infrastructure Funding
The new funds add to the effort to replace aging infrastructure and lead pipes.
Seattle to Introduce Electric Buses With Wireless Charging
In-ground induction chargers will reduce the cost of the charging network.
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Lassen County Planning and Building Services
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.