Atlanta launches program giving $500 a month to 300 people

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta is preparing to launch a pilot basic income program that will give 300 residents $500 a month for a year, the mayor’s office said.

The city, in a news release, said the program would be available to people who are at least 18 and live below 200% of the federal poverty line — $53,000 for a household of four; about $44,000 for a household of three; an estimated $35,000 for a two-person household and about $26,000 for a single individual.

The program — called the Income Mobility Program for Atlanta Community Transformation or I.M.P.A.C.T. — is being administered in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta.

“We are seizing this moment to realize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for addressing economic security and pervasive poverty,” said Mayor Keisha Lance 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.”

Registration is not yet open. The city said that those interested could visit for information and alerts on when to register. The final program participants will be selected at random from all those who register. Applications will begin to be accepted in early 2022.

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

The city’s announcement Thursday 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 also announced in December. It aims to give the money to 650 women for two years. That program will begin early in 2022 targeting women in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, whose City Council representative Amir Farokhi has been working to set up a basic income program for some time. The program will later expand to sites in southwest Georgia and metro Atlanta suburbs, officials have said.