11 states with guaranteed basic-income programs that give residents hundreds of dollars a month, no strings attached

New York City aerial view
New York City is one of many areas across the country offering guaranteed basic income to low-income residents.joSon/Getty Images
  • Guaranteed basic-income programs can help low-income participants afford necessities like rent.

  • BI found over 50 municipalities that have tried GBI, offering cash for housing and groceries.

  • Despite legislative opposition, basic-income programs remain active across the country.

Ingrid Sullivan, 48, used her cash from the San Antonio guaranteed basic-income program to rent a home where her grandchildren can play in the yard. And Monique Gonzalez, 41, moved herself and her family out of a San Antonio motel.

A Denver resident, Jarun Laws, 51, used his basic income to pay his rent and buy food.

"My life was always just a couple hundred dollars short," Sullivan told Business Insider. "For the first time, I can breathe."

Guaranteed basic income has become an increasingly popular poverty-solution strategy in US cities. Over 50 municipalities have tried the GBI model since 2019, offering low-income participants between $100 and $1,000 a month, no strings attached, for a set time period.

What makes basic income different from traditional social services is the element of choice. Participants told BI they spent the money where they needed it most: on housing, groceries, transportation, and debt repayment.

Typically, participants fall below the federal poverty line. However, some programs have also focused on specific populations such as new and expecting mothers, households with children, or people experiencing homelessness.

Basic-income pilots have been completed in cities and counties in Arizona, Alabama, Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, and Washington, DC.

GBI continues to face legislative opposition from Republican lawmakers who have called the programs "socialist" and say they discourage low-income people from entering the workforce.

For example, Iowa passed a ban on GBI in April, and the Arizona House of Representatives voted to ban basic income in February. On April 23, the Texas Supreme Court placed a temporary block on a Houston-area program that the attorney general called "unconstitutional."

Despite these political challenges, basic-income programs continue to be active across the country. Here's a breakdown of states, listed in alphabetical order, where cash payments are offered to low-income residents.


Los Angeles aerial view
Los Angeles.LPETTET/Getty

Location: Los Angeles
Program name: Breathe
Duration: June 2022 - August 2025
Income amount: $1,000 every month for three years
Number of participants: 1,000 low-income households

Location: Long Beach
Program name: Long Beach Pledge
Duration: spring 2024 - spring 2025
Income amount: $500 a month for 12 months
Number of participants: 200 low-income households with children

Location: Mountain View
Program name: Elevate MV
Duration: December 2022 - December 2024
Income amount: $500 a month for 24 months
Number of participants: 166 low-income parents

Location: Sonoma County
Program name: Pathway to Income Equity
Duration: January 2023 - January 2025
Income amount: $500 a month for 24 months
Number of participants: 305 low-income families

Previous basic income pilots have been run in San Francisco, Compton, Oakland, Santa Clara, San Diego, Stockton, and Marin County.


Denver, Colorado skyline behind City Park
Denver.Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Location: Denver
Program name: The Denver Basic Income Project
Duration: November 2022 - July 2024
Income amount: Participants were divided into three groups: One receives $1,000 a month for a year; another receives $6,500 up front and then $500 a month from there; and another gets $50 a month.
Number of participants: 800 unhoused and low-income households


Atlanta, Georgia skyline
Atlanta.Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Location: Atlanta, southwest Georgia, and the City of College Park
Program name: The Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund
Duration: fall 2022 - fall 2024
Income amount: Average payments of $850 a month over 24 months
Number of participants: 650 low-income Black women


Chicago, Illinois aerial view
Chicago.Allan Baxter / Getty Images

Location: Cook County
Program name: The Cook County Promise
Duration: December 2022 - December 2024
Income amount: $500 a month for 24 months
Number of participants: 3,250 low- to moderate-income families

Location: Evanston
Program name: Guaranteed Income Program
Duration: First round ran December 2022 - December 2023, second round begins summer 2024
Income amount: $500 a month for one year
Number of participants: 150 low-income families

Chicago previously ran the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot, providing basic income for 5,000 residents.


A dock in with the Somerville skyline in the background
Somerville, Massachusetts.DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Location: Somerville
Program name: The Somerville Guaranteed Basic Income Program
Duration: July 2024 - July 2025
Income amount: $750 a month for 12 months
Number of participants: 200 low-income families

Basic-income programs were previously run in Boston, Chelsea, and Cambridge.


Baltimore, Maryland skyline
Baltimore.David Shvartsman / Getty Images

Location: Baltimore
Program name: The Baltimore Young Families Success Fund
Duration: August 2022 - July 2024
Income amount: $1,000 a month for 24 months
Number of participants: 200 young parents


Ann Arbor Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan.Barry Winiker/Getty Images

Location: Ann Arbor
Program name: Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor
Duration: January 2024 - December 2025
Income amount: $528 a month for 24 months
Number of participants: 100 low-income entrepreneurs

Location: Flint
Program name: Rx Kids
Duration: January 2024 - spring 2025
Income amount: $1,500 lump sum, then $500 monthly payments during the first year of a baby's life
Number of participants: 1,200 new and expectant mothers


Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis.Education Images / Getty Images

Location: Minneapolis
Program name: Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot
Duration: June 2022 – June 2024
Income amount: $500 a month for two years
Number of participants: 200 low-income households

A program in St. Paul began in 2020 and provided basic income to families for 18 months.

New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico.John Elk III / Getty Images

Location: Santa Fe
Program name: The City of Santa Fe Learn, Earn, Achieve Program
Duration: Initially ran October 2021 - September 2022, extended through the 2023-2024 academic year.
Income amount: $400 a month for 12 months
Number of participants: 98 young, low-income parents enrolled in a certificate or degree program at the Santa Fe Community College

New York

New York City.
New York.Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Location: New York City, Rochester, and Buffalo
Program name: The Bridge Project
Duration: June 2021 - ongoing
Income amount: Up to $1,000 a month for three years
Number of participants: 1,200 low-income mothers

Location: Hudson
Program name: HudsonUP
Duration: Five years, with staggered cohorts launched in fall 2020, 2021, and 2023
Income amount: $500 a month for 5 years
Number of participants: 128 households

A 17-month program in Ulster County that provided basic income to 100 households ended in September 2022, and another program in Ithaca gave a full year of cash payments to unpaid caregivers through May 2023.


San Antonio river walk
San Antonio.Adam Jones/Getty Images

Location: San Antonio
Program name: UpTogether San Antonio
Duration: Summer 2023 - December 2024
Income amount: $500 a month for 18 months
Number of participants: 25 low-income families

Location: Harris County
Program name: Uplift Harris
Duration: Initially scheduled to begin in April 2024, but delayed because of the Texas Supreme Court ruling
Income amount: $500 a month for 18 months
Number of participants: 1,928 low-income households

An earlier San Antonio program offered $5,108 to 1,000 families over a 25-month period that began in December 2020. The Austin Guaranteed Income Pilot also gave participants $1,000 a month ending in May 2023.

Have you benefited from a guaranteed basic-income program? Are you open to sharing how you spent the money? Reach out to this reporter at allisonkelly@insider.com.

Correction: April 29, 2024 — An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the end date of the Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor program.

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