New Jersey is pulling off basic income programs

Together with

The Future. In 2022, Paterson, NJ, implemented a small basic income program that enabled low-income residents to afford necessities. For 2024, Paterson is trying again on a larger scale — creating a blueprint for other towns to follow nationwide (rather than hoping MrBeast will do it for them).

The basics
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh outlined the details of the upcoming program.

  • The town will give around 200 residents $400/month on debit cards for 12 months. 
  • Applicants must earn less than $38,910 annually in single-person households, $110,311 a year in three-person homes, or $184,405 in five-person households.
  • 6,000 people have applied to this new round. A lottery will determine who receives aid.

Last year’s program was supported by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, an economic security organization. The 2024 program will be funded with help from the University of Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Income Center.

Tried and true
Paterson tried this once before, and it worked. In 2022, 110 residents were given the same amount of money and spent it on rent, utilities, and groceries — exactly what basic income programs are meant to enable.

Why have a season of giving when it can last all year?

Luke Perrotta


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