STOCKTON (CBS13) — An innovative plan to tackle income inequality will be a reality in Stockton as a plan to provide certain families with $500 is just months from beginning.

The universal basic income project known as the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration will start in November. Notices will go out to families with a median annual income of $46,000 or less to let residents know they qualify for the program.

RELATED: Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs Makes Fortunes ’40 Under 40’ List

“We will randomly select our first 100 recipients to receive the benefit,” said Lori Ospina with the city of Stockton.

After months of bouncing around the idea, Stockton is rolling out the parameters of its new SEED program which Mayor Michael Tubbs calls an innovative way to help the one-in-four families living below the poverty line.

“In California, the cost of living is 41 percent higher than the rest of the nation,” Tubbs said. “Housing costs are 109 percent higher than the rest of the nation. And with that being said, 40 percent of Californians don’t have a savings.”

It’s an idea that’s received national attention. Tubbs discussed the program on CBS This Morning in February where he responded to critics by saying research shows found many improvements in a similar community.

No taxpayer money is going into the program, Instead, the money will come entirely from the city’s economic security project and other charitable accounts.


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