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Oregon Is Considering $1,000 Monthly Payments for Homeless and Low-Income Individuals

Oregon Is Considering $1,000 Monthly Payments for Homeless and Low-Income Individuals

The state of Oregon is currently considering a bill that would provide a universal basic income of $1,000 per month to homeless and low-income individuals — with no strings attached.

The bill, known as the People’s Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program, would be managed by the state’s Department of Human Services. Under the proposed legislation, eligible recipients would receive 12 monthly payments of $1,000. (Currently, the average estimated cost of living in Oregon is $3504 a month.)

The funds would be used at the discretion of the recipients, but supporters believe that the majority of the funds would be used towards living expenses and rent.

The bill’s eligibility criteria are fairly broad at the moment. Right now, the bill would cover individuals who are experiencing homelessness, are at risk of homelessness, are severely rent-burdened, or earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

The bill would also include a study to analyze the demographics of the recipients, such as race, veteran status and risk of domestic violence.

While the idea of UBI is not new, it has gained momentum in recent years. Several states, including California and Alaska, have already introduced or passed similar bills. Supporters of UBI argue that it is a necessary step towards providing financial stability and addressing income inequality.

However, critics have raised concerns about the feasibility and effectiveness of UBI programs. The main concern is that UBI could discourage individuals from seeking work and lead to a decrease in productivity. Additionally, there are concerns that recipients may use the funds for non-essential expenses, such as drugs or alcohol.

Despite these concerns, the Oregon bill has gained support from advocates for the homeless and low-income individuals. They argue that the UBI payments would provide financial security and stability, enabling recipients to find permanent housing and improve their quality of life.

If passed, the bill would remain in effect until the program ended in January 2026. At that time, lawmakers would assess the program and determine whether it should be continued.

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