'Universal [Except for White People] Income': Oakland to Provide 600 Minority Families with $500 a Month

Connor Grant | March 25, 2021
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The city of Oakland, California plans to implement a program that will provide 600 black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) families with $500 a month for 18 months to spend “in any way families want.” 

The program, which is called Oakland Resilient Families, aims to close a wealth gap between low income minority families and the rest of the Oakland community. 

"We believe that guaranteed income is the most transformative policy that can achieve this vision and whose time has come," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. 

According to the program's website, it will be funded through philanthropic donations from Blue Meridien Partners, a group that funds "scalable solutions to the problems that limit economic mobility and trap America’s young people and families in poverty."

“Oakland Resilient Families is 100% funded by philanthropic donations," the website reads. "To date we have raised $6.75 million, at least 80% of which will be distributed directly to families over the next 18 months."

RELATED: Chicago Suburb's City Council Votes to Approve Nation’s First ‘Reparations’ For Black Residents

In order to qualify for the program, a family must make “at or below 50% of Area Median Income (about $59,000 per year for a family of 3), however half of the spots are reserved for very-low-income families earning below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $30,000 per year for a family of 3).”

Qualifying families can apply for the program through an online form. Homeless people and illegal aliens are eligible to apply. 

Later this spring and summer, 600 families will be chosen randomly to participate.

According to a local CBS affiliate, "A pair of 'evaluators' will monitor how the funds are spent and how much impact they have on the recipients’ lives."

“Guaranteed income is an idea that has been around a long time,” but its time has come,” said Schaaf. 

On Monday, a Chicago suburb's city council voted 8-1 to approve a program that will provide qualifying black families with $25,000 for home repairs. These programs are likely to be the first of many as cities throughout America are considering similar programs that will provide payments to minorities for past mistreatment and/or current wealth discrepancies.  

For local coverage of this story, watch below: