A major U.S. city is considering a proposal that could mean a $500 monthly payment for every resident. The payments would be distributed as a Basic Income Guarantee, or BIG, and the idea for issuing them comes from the idea that it’s a human right to have access to basic needs.
The idea of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) has been floating around for decades, but it’s not the only experiment being considered.
In late June, community-based housing advocacy group Community Housing Partnership (CHP) proposed a pilot program in Detroit that would give every resident $500 each month as a guaranteed income — no questions asked. The plan was laid out at Detroit Homecoming III, a two-day conference focused on building up Detroit into more than just an economic powerhouse but also into an equitable city where everyone can be part of its success and growth.
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The proposal came from CHP Executive Director Tim Hermann, who said that the money will help cover some of Detroit’s most basic needs: food insecurity and inadequate housing. He said he hopes that this could help level the playing field for all residents.”We want people to have security,” he told Business Insider in June.”It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor; everyone deserves access to basic needs like food and shelter.”
The proposal was put forth by a group called Community Housing Partnership, which aims to end homelessness in San Francisco. The group suggests that the money could be dedicated to finding more housing opportunities for residents — another big issue in San Francisco these days. City and state lawmakers are discussing how they could make this happen, but they have not yet committed to any plan.
If the idea comes to fruition, it would make San Francisco the first city in America where every single resident gets a monthly stipend through their taxes. It’s unclear whether other cities will follow suit; it’s not clear whether or not this will even come into effect at all!