What is Rochester’s Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) program?

In 2023, the City of Rochester is trying out a year-long program called Guaranteed Basic Income, or GBI. The guaranteed income is a monthly payment of $500 given directly to 351 individuals for 12 months. It is unconditional, which means there are no strings attached, no work requirements, and no restrictions on how the money can be used.

Why is the City offering the GBI program?

GBI is the City of Rochester’s first guaranteed income initiative. It is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and be a tool for racial and gender equity. The research component of the program will help determine the impacts of a guaranteed income and influence future policy decisions around broader poverty reduction programs.

How will the City fund its Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program?

Rochester’s GBI program is being funded by the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The City was granted ARPA funding from the federal government, and has chosen to invest $2.2 million of that funding in this GBI pilot program.

When will Rochester’s GBI pilot program start?

Applications will open on Thursday, June 22 at 10 a.m. and will remain open for one week, through Thursday, June 29 at 11:59 p.m. Two random selections of qualified applicants will take place, for a total of 351 participants.

How do I apply?

Eligible residents will be able to apply online. The application will be made available on this website. Application assistance will be available at City of
Rochester Neighborhood Service Centers, City of Rochester Libraries, and other community-based organizations.

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