Ulster County is the first county in the country to undertake a large-scale universal basic income pilot program
On April 1st, UPenn will notify residents who have been selected
KINGSTON, N.Y. - Ulster County Executive Ryan announced today that Ulster County’s Project Resilience Universal Basic Income (UBI) Pilot Program has received over 4,200 applicants. County Executive Ryan announced the UBI Pilot Program as a part of his State of the County address last month. The program opened its application process on February 15th and officially closed its application portal on March 15th. Over the next few days, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) will randomly select 100 qualifying individuals to participate in the program and 100 individuals who will participate in the control group of the study through a lottery system and have them submit a baseline survey by April 1st.
“I am very excited that Ulster County is the first county in the country to undertake a large-scale UBI pilot program, where we will provide much-needed economic relief directly to families across the county,” said County Executive Ryan. “Enrolling these participants is a major milestone in this process. We look forward to seeing the impact on the lives of our residents and participating in the national conversation about the importance of creating this policy to help people in need across the country.”
On April 1st, UPenn will notify the 200 people of the group that they have been placed in (control or participant) and UPenn will schedule individual check-ins with the control group participant to identify any impact on each person’s current benefits. These will be conducted by Melida Dessalines who has been selected as UPenn’s Local Research Fellow. Dessalines is a local Kingston Resident who has received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Albany and is a first-generation U.S. Citizen and first-generation college graduate. She will work alongside Kim Mapes, who runs the Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center, to conduct these initial check-ins.
By May 1st, each participant will have the ability to formally join the program or decline and have another participant chosen from a waitlist. Once the list is finalized and each participant has chosen a banking partner (either Ulster Savings Bank or Steady) then they will be ready to receive their first $500 check on May 15th. Over the coming year, participants will submit quarterly surveys to track improvements in their mental health, physical health, and employment status. They will also have individual interviews with UPenn over the summer to document the stories of each participant.
Ulster County is the first county in the country to undertake a large-scale universal basic income pilot program. This program will provide much-needed economic relief directly to families throughout the county. Through a partnership between Project Resilience, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and Ulster Savings Bank, Ulster County will be providing 100 qualifying households with direct relief payments of $500 a month for an entire year, all funded through the generosity of community donations.