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Atlanta instituting pilot basic income program at $500 a month for 300 residents

Applications will begin to be accepted in early 2022, according to the organization administering the program.

ATLANTA — Atlanta will be instituting a pilot basic income program, the mayor's office announced on Thursday, that will provide 300 residents with $500 a month over a year.

In a release, the city said it would be available to people who are at least 18 years old and live below 200% of the federal poverty line (which currently is $53,000 for a household of four, about $44,000 for a house of three, about $35,000 for a household of two and about $26,000 for a single individual.)

The initial group of participants in the program - being called the Income Mobility Program for Atlanta Community Transformation, or I.M.P.A.C.T. - will be selected at random, the city said. 

It is being administered in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta

RELATED: Guaranteed income program launched in Georgia to give $850 per month to more than 600 Black women

Registration is not yet open, the city said that those interested in the program could visit ulgacoaimpact.org for information and alerts on when to register. An applicant information submission form is available toward the bottom of that website, which says applications will begin to be accepted in early 2022.

Funding for the program includes a $2 million donation by the city to the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, who will administer the day-to-day operations of the program.

In a statement, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was an advocate for guaranteed income.

“We are seizing this moment to realize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision for addressing economic security and pervasive poverty,” said Mayor Bottoms. "Dr. King said, ‘The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.' In the spirit of Dr. King's vision for the beloved community, the launch of the I.M.P.A.C.T. program takes us another step closer to creating One Atlanta - an affordable, resilient and equitable Atlanta. Thank you to the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income for leading and joining us in this impactful work.”

According to the city's release, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta is "currently working to make the first guaranteed income payments to the initial cohort of 25 participants."

The city's announcement comes amid a surge in advocacy for guaranteed income programs. An $850 per month program aimed at Black women in Georgia by the Georgia Resilience & Opportunity Fund was announced earlier this month.

That program began with 200 women in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, whose City Council representative Amir Farokhi has been working to institute a basic income program for some time.

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