Elevate MV, the Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program
Guaranteed Basic Income programs typically provide flat monthly payments to residents in need. The goal is to help low-income residents struggling with wide-ranging financial challenges, including the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sign up for the Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program Interest List
Use the link below to be notified of updates and application availability for the City of Mountain View Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Pilot Program.
- Criteria: extremely low-income Mountain View residents below 30% Area Median Income (AMI), parents/custodial caregiver for at least one child under the age of 18 at the time of application
- Help amount: $500 per month (for 166 people)
- Pilot program length: 12 months
GBI Interest List
*NOTE: The interest list is to receive informational updates ONLY and is not an application to participate in the program.
More about ELEVATE MV Pilot Program
- Update from the Feb. 22, 2022 Council Report
- Elevate MV: Mountain View’s Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program
In May 2021, the City of Mountain View adopted a resolution to commit support for the principles of a basic income program and gave the go-ahead for the development of a basic income pilot. After much research and a study session in September 2021, the City Council approved the adoption of a guaranteed basic income pilot program called Elevate MV in February 2022.
The Elevate MV pilot program gives direct cash payments of $500 per month for one year to 166 randomly selected eligible Mountain View residents that will elevate their basic income to provide more financial security. Program eligibility requirements include being a Mountain View resident with one or more children under the age 18 and earning at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which equates to an annual income of $44,750 in 2021 for a family of three. Initial findings from previous programs, such as Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), have shown that providing basic income helped participants find better employment and improved their overall health by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
The Elevate MV pilot program sets itself apart from other relief programs by providing unrestricted financial assistance to the most vulnerable in our community. This means that participants in the pilot are empowered to choose how the assistance best meets the basic needs of their family and is not tied to specific expense categories or conditions. Elevate MV, operated through the Community Services Agency and supported by YMCA and Community Financial Resources, will be a part of a national study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Center for Guaranteed Basic Income along with participants from other cities and programs like Stockton’s SEED. The pilot program is expected to enroll its first participants by summer 2022
Previous Council Actions
A City Council study session to review staff's research on program models and recommend steps for the pilot program in Mountain View is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021.
- Study Session Outcome Summary: The Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Pilot program is an unconditional, unrestricted monthly allocation rather than a one-time lump sum. GBI recipients are empowered to make their own decisions on how to spend the money to best meet the basic needs of participating families, providing dignity and self-determination. Similar pilot programs also typically collect survey and participation data to help inform the larger policy decisions on alleviating poverty. The Mountain View GBI Pilot program participants opt-in based on specific criteria and are expected to be selected in a randomized process.
At the Sept. 28, 2021 City Council Study Session, the Council provided direction on the program design, including eligibility to participate, disbursement amounts, length of the pilot program and linking participants with additional support services from nonprofit partners. Some of this direction to staff consisted of:
- Criteria: extremely low-income Mountain View residents below 30% Area Median Income (AMI), parents/custodial caregiver for at least one child under the age of 18 at application
- Help amount: $500 per month (for 166 people)
- Pilot program length: 12 months, with an option for a 12-month extension
Based on the Council’s feedback, staff will refine the budget, finalize the nonprofit partnership recommendations, and research and evaluate partners. The Council will consider formal program adoption and budget appropriation by first quarter of 2022.
- The next Council Update is expected to be Feb. 22, 2022.
As part of the formal adoption of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Recommended Budget, the City Council allocated $1 million for a guaranteed basic income pilot program.
At the May 25, 2021 meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution to commit their support for the principles of basic income, authorized participation in the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income initiative, and expressed their support for a cash-based pilot program in our community. In taking this action, councilmembers reflected on stories about the local impacts of growing income inequality – especially during the pandemic.
The City of Mountain View has also partnered with the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income network (mayorsforagi.org), which is a collection of cities around the country that have taken steps to start a pilot program or already have guaranteed basic income programs running.
“On behalf of the City Council, we are committing our support to the principles of guaranteed basic income,” said Mayor Ellen Kamei. “In Mountain View, we are seeing the impacts of growing income inequality, especially during the pandemic. We look forward to partnering with the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income network as we begin our due diligence in bringing a pilot program to our community to help lift people up and out of poverty with this cash-based program.”
City of Mountain View/Mayors for a Guaranteed Income joint news release (7/7/21)
City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2021-22 Recommended Budget that Enhances Current Service Delivery Issues (6/23/21)
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