NEWARK, NJ — Payday is coming for Newark residents.
Mayor Ras Baraka launched a guaranteed income program Monday. An initial group of 30 will receive $6,000 per year for two years with the program set to expand to 400 residents in fall of 2021.
“We must emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with new purpose, new vision, and new ideas to transform our community and truly improve the quality of life of our residents,” Baraka said. “Here we have an opportunity to directly empower and strengthen hundreds of lives immediately, while also demonstrating how to do so to the entire nation.”
About one in three of Newark’s residents live below the federal poverty line. Qualifying individuals for the program will have income levels at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold.
Half of the participants will get payments on a bi-weekly basis and half will receive the payments twice yearly so that officials can learn the best way to structure the program.
Hawwa Muhammad, a Newark resident, said the program could really go a long way in the city.
“In gearing up to launch this program, so many residents I have connected with are eager about a program that will help them get back on their feet and participate in the local economy,” Muhammad said.