Hudson New York UBI experiment reaps benefits

HudsonUP, an income pilot program in Hudson, New York, is already proving the power of having a little extra cash in the bank account.

Hudson New York UBI experiment reaps benefits

 

The Future. HudsonUP, an income pilot program in Hudson, New York, is already proving the power of having a little extra cash in the bank account — it doubled employment for those that received funds. Only two years into the five-year program, Hudson’s UBI experiment may become a catalyst for a federally guaranteed  income program to lift millions out of poverty.

Above water
Launched in the fall of 2020, the HudsonUP project selected 25 low-income residents, who would receive $500 a month for 5 years. Here’s how it’s been making an impact so far:

  • Employment more than doubled for surveyed recipients — from 29% to 63%. Relationships and health both improved as well.
  • Recipients also felt that they had a little extra money to plan for the future, breaking the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Additionally, giving recipients the ability to spend the money however they saw fit gave them the dignity to make their own financial decisions.

The program (which was financed last year by the nonprofit Humanity Forward and will be financed this coming year by The Spark of Hudson) is currently adding another 50 residents to receive benefits.

A big lift
It turns out that Hudson, which has a population of 6,000 residents, was the perfect place to launch a UBI pilot. A former manufacturing hub (which has gone the way of most manufacturing hubs), the city has a poverty rate of 23% — twice the national average. According to the Jain Family Institute (which facilitates the experiment), the pilot is to see “how basic income can create a safety net for those swings in the economy.”

While Hudson’s UBI pilot will last years (and hopefully longer), California currently has two initiatives running in Stockton and Compton… but those are only set to last for two years.