WeHo re-opens application period for guaranteed income program

The City of West Hollywood, in collaboration with nonprofit partner, National Council of Jewish Women/LA, will re-open applications for the pilot project for guaranteed income aimed at evaluating the impact of cash payments on the financial stability and quality of life of older adults. Guaranteed income is a direct and regular cash payment – no strings attached – provided to a specific group of people for a designated time.

In January 2021, the West Hollywood City Council approved an item for the City of West Hollywood to join the Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI) network and directed staff to develop a guaranteed income pilot program for West Hollywood, including identification of research, funding, community implementation, and evaluation partners.

There are numerous cities, counties, and private guaranteed income pilots happening throughout the nation. Guaranteed income pilots are a way to test the impact of cash payments, while also providing a service to help financially stabilize community members and learn information to help create future, evidence-based policies and programs.

Beginning June 1, 2022, community members may access www.ncjwla.org/whpgi to learn more. The application will open on the website beginning Friday, June 17, 2022, and will close on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

Community members who are interested in applying for the West Hollywood Pilot for Guaranteed Income must reside in the City of West Hollywood, be 50 years or older, and have an individual income of $41,400 or less. The program will be facilitated by the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles. People who need assistance applying may call (323) 852-8500, ext. 650, or may send an email message to whpgi@ncjwla.org.

A total of 25 qualifying participants will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible applicants to receive unconditional monthly $1,000 payments from September 2022 through February 2024.

The move to re-open applications for the pilot project for guaranteed income follows a shift in March 2022 when the City became aware that the pilot, because it was created and supported by a government entity, was susceptible to legal challenges due to the inclusion of LGBTQIA criteria as an eligibility requirement to participate.

The City, with the help of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) and the Center for Guaranteed Income at the University of Pennsylvania (CGIR) had originally developed a data-driven guaranteed income pilot that was set to launch in April 2022 and would have been the first LGBTQIA-focused pilot and the first older adult-focused pilot in the nation.

Protecting the rights of LGBTQ community members has been a long-standing mission of the City, and the City has worked tirelessly to identify and address inequities. For years, the City – along with LGBTQ advocates nationwide – has fought for equal civil rights, including the right to marry, the ability to obtain access to spousal protections and benefits including healthcare and pensions, and efforts to reduce/eliminate discrimination in housing and employment. These hard-earned rights and protections come with other legal consequences as well. Although the City could engage in a legal battle over the contested eligibility requirement, the implications of litigating such a challenge had to be considered. Having LGBTQIA identification as an eligibility requirement for the pilot could potentially violate the California Constitution as sexual orientation is a protected suspect class in the state.

Therefore, the City Attorney, City staff, and pilot partners recommended that the City Council of the City of West Hollywood revise the pilot to include three of the four original criteria (residency, age, and income level) in order to satisfy the legal obligations, protect potential participants, and move forward with a program that serves community members in need of financial support and stability. All applicants from the first iteration of the pilot will be automatically entered into the pool of applicants for the revised pilot.

The City of West Hollywood seeks to test the emerging promise of guaranteed income to help prevent homelessness, support community members as they age in place, and to reduce the stressors of poverty and financial insecurity.  In addition, the West Hollywood Pilot for Guaranteed Income seeks to examine impact in the following areas:

·       Quantitative data to evaluate the collective impact of guaranteed income on different populations;

·       Capture unique qualitative narrative information to provide greater understanding into the income challenges faced by older adults in West Hollywood and inform the creation of evidence-based policies and programs to better support the health and well-being of older adults; and

·       Test the concept of guaranteed income to evaluate whether to expand the initial pilot or create new/additional pilots in the City.

The City will engage two nonprofit partners in the pilot. The first is the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at University of Pennsylvania as the research and evaluation partner responsible for creating and administering the research instruments, conducting the randomized selection of eligible applicants to participate in the pilot, collecting/processing/analyzing the data, and providing a report on the findings.

The City’s second partner in the pilot is the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles (NCJW|LA) as the nonprofit administrator implementing the pilot. NCJW was selected for its knowledge, experience, and understanding of the nuances of guaranteed income. NCJW will be responsible for conducting outreach to the community about the pilot, assisting community members to complete applications, verifying that West Hollywood residency and other pilot criteria are met to ensure the eligibility of each applicant, submitting the completed and verified applications to CGIR for the randomized selection of participants, and notifying the participants selected by CGIR. They will also conduct onboarding and provide individualized benefits counseling for each participant, manage a storytelling cohort and storytelling activities that complement the research component of the pilot and provide the participants an opportunity to share their experiences in their own voices. In addition, the nonprofit administrator will subcontract and coordinate services with a nonprofit financial distributor (utilizing debit card services) to ensure that funds are distributed to participants in a timely, predictable, and seamless fashion.

Additional information about research and evaluation, as well as pilot partners and pilot funding is available in the May 2022 City Council staff report at https://weho.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=1357&meta_id=228362.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

29 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago

People can learn initiative, self-reliance, excellence, curiosity and agency in age appropriate settings from parents and educators so they possess lifelong tools useful in any situation. It’s a way of life. Every complicated situation can be approached through using the basic tools seeking a solution if one develops good habits. Don’t let anyone take away your sense of self.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
voter
voter
1 month ago

Asking desperate people to sign up for a lottery for a shot to win $1,000.00 per month is so disrespectful of their needs. Why not just give out lottery tickets?

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
1 month ago

I am a proud resident that our small City has created this pilot and am excited to see what the researchers discover and hear the stories from participants how this affected their lives.

Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

It establishes poor habits as it lacks incentive on part of recipient and specific goals to remove themselves from their situation.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

Actually these programs have already proven to be crucial in keeping elderly and disabled people from becoming homeless; it can help keep someone in their home and in the neighborhood where they have friends and support and enhance mental health due to creating a financial buffer for those people on the edge. No other social service program has been proven to be as effective. Even if we could get a full fledged program up and running for the most in need, we are talking about a couple of hundred West Hollywood residents who may very well be your friends and… Read more »

Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Perhaps you could elaborate on programs known to be in effect such as Section 8 housing, etc. for the elderly and disabled just so the public knows. Beyond that, how is another category of people in need evaluated beyond qualifying for this suggested program.? Seems like more information is needed as to why and how they are on the edge and the prognosis. A lottery only fulfills part of the assistance.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

I don’t disagree about insuring the sums go to those most in need. A lottery just seems random.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

Yup. Spot on.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

Multiple studies indicate the opposite. I’m not going to to google the issue for you but I am including a link to an MIT Tech Review article “Universal Basic Income Is Here – It Just Looks Different Than What You Expected” which I found interesting in itself, but also cites a few of the growing number of studies showing these programs to be successful and having positive impacts on employment rates and wages and education.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/05/07/1024674/ubi-guaranteed-income-pandemic/

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

Bingo

Michael on Havenhurst
Michael on Havenhurst
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

Of course, the SHE leadership of totally self-involved, untalented, opportunistic, and third-rate political hacks created this. Shyne, Horvath, and Erickson. A trio of losers whose only claim to fame is elected to the WEHO City Council by voters who didn’t know what they were getting. It is time to flush them out and rid WEHO of their have-assed costly programs. They aren’t running a city. They are running some looney socialistic place called WOKEville. It is time for a Breach of Public Trust lawsuit against these clowns and the overpaid corrupt city government/bureaucracy,

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael on Havenhurst
Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago

So if there is a profusion of LGBTQIA from the first iteration of the offering automatically Re entered into the new iteration won’t that unbalance the entire pool of the drawing?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago

This is an excellent pilot program. I hope this money can change the lives of a few people struggling in our small city.

Bastian
Bastian
1 month ago

Anyone else find it problematic the city is spending $198,639 in administrative fees to give out $450,000 funds to 25 lucky winners?

Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago
Reply to  Bastian

Yes, presumably the administrative fees go to JFS . Very problematic as they are funded annually for $5 million to function primarily as a referral service directing folks to state and federal benefits.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Problematic

That’s government for ya.

voter
voter
1 month ago

I don’t support this lottery form of social welfare. This started as a scheme to funnel taxpayer funds to the LGBT community in West Hollywood–everyone else be damned.

The program should be canceled because it does not serve the best interests of West Hollywood residents/voters.

And if there’s so much extra money to throw around, the sales tax rate should be reduced, which would help everyone.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

👏👏👏

Thomas Ankrum
Thomas Ankrum
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

Yes. My company does all of its taxable purchases outside of West Hollywood.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

How does it not serve the best interests of the 25 people who would be fortunate enough to have a $1000 month benefit?

·       Test the concept of guaranteed income to evaluate whether to expand the initial pilot or create new/additional pilots in the City.

Problematic
Problematic
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

There is no incentive for the recipient to demonstrate value of having received the benefit. They’ll be back for more unless their habits change that my have gotten them into the situation in the first lace.

The first iteration of this concept was in a sense admitting that LBGTQIA are helpless second class residents. If one believes it they will be it.

Old adage: God helps those that help themselves emphasizing self initiative and agency.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

yep

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

Yeah, refunding that 3/4 of a cent taxes tax to each WeHo resident may allow us to buy a latte at Starbucks once a year. Since when is not helping those most in need not in the best interest of our community?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Steve,

These people don’t care about anyone that is suffering or struggling. They want to complain about homelessness and inflation etc…but they don’t want to do anything about it.

The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges
1 month ago

IF this current inflation mess that Trump/Biden and the rest of DC was not a warning enough that spraying cash out regardless of any PRODUCT or SERVICE is not a good idea. Stop the craven politics to scoop up voters with promises of “free money” while inflating all that cash away all the while the rich get richer and their donors are the true victors. Total scam!

Joshua88
Joshua88
20 days ago

25 recipients are not going to break the electoral outcome (most likely) as long as people perform their civic duty and vote.

Last edited 20 days ago by Joshua88
Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

0
0
votes
Article Rating
29
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x