Demographics of Pilot

The Austin Guaranteed Income Pilot, conducted by UpTogether in Austin, Texas, provided $1,000 each month for a year to 135 households in some of the highest-poverty and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. The households enrolled were representative of individuals and families with low incomes in this area.

Impact on Housing

The income pilot had a substantial positive effect on housing security. Participants reported spending more than 50% of their pilot cash on housing, greatly increasing their housing security. At the end of the 12-month period, pilot participants became notably more housing secure compared to the start of the program.

Impact on Employment

Despite receiving additional income, employment among the participants remained relatively stable throughout the pilot. Some participants even used the additional income to reduce their working hours and "skill up" for future work or take on caretaking responsibilities.

How Was the Money Spent

The majority of the pilot cash was spent on housing costs, which were a significant financial burden for the participants. On average, more than half of the cash was allocated towards this purpose, demonstrating the pressing need for secure housing among the participants.

Physical or Mental Health Benefits

The pilot had a positive effect on food security, which improved steadily over the course of the pilot. However, results for mental health were mixed. While there was an initial improvement in mental health measures at the 6-month mark, some measures reverted to the enrollment levels by the end of the program. More research is needed on methods to minimize the stress of transition out of programs, and to understand the optimal duration of cash transfer depending on recipients' circumstances and goals.



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