BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — As part of a growing trend in cities across the country, Boulder will soon have a system in place to give certain residents cash on a regular basis to help stay afloat.
The concept of guaranteed income has been growing in popularity in major U.S. cities. The Mile High City has the Denver Basic Income Project that has been underway for a year now.
The City of Boulder hopes to launch its pilot program by the end of this year.
“What makes a guaranteed income program different is instead of us predetermining, whether as a government agency or nonprofit entity, how that assistance is coming about, can you use it for rent, can you use it to pay your utility bills, is it food assistance, what have you, a guaranteed income program simply gives people cash,” said Senior Project Manager for the City of Boulder Housing and Human Services Elizabeth Crowe.
Back in March, the city set aside $250,000 in federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan to serve as the first building block for the program. Crowe said they have requested a total of $3 million to fund the pilot and are actively looking for private partnerships to help with funding.
“How much money do we want people to have on a monthly basis?” Crowe said. “What might be the duration of assistance that they receive, how many years?”
Crowe said other cities have focused on different demographic groups, including single mothers, caregivers, people experiencing homelessness and people returning from prison populations.
“When we talk about guaranteed income, it’s not necessarily universal income,” Crowe said. “It would definitely be targeted at people experiencing low income.”
Another vital step in the process is creating a community task force that will study what other cities are doing with guaranteed income and apply what works to a specific Boulder community.
The pilot would exist within the city of Boulder and not the county at large. On average, other cities engaging in this pilot process have given out roughly $500 per month to targeted groups with the pilot typically running between one and two years, according to Crowe.