December 13, 2021


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Newark, NJ-December 13, 2021-Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced that 400 participants in the second phase of the guaranteed income pilot program have been identified and the program is underway. Earlier this year, the City of Newark launched The Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE), a two-year research study that will give a guaranteed income, or unconditional cash payments, to Newark residents, with a focus on those experiencing housing insecurity. After beginning with an initial cohort of 30 residents, the second phase of the program has expanded to 400 individuals.

The program will address the economic insecurity faced by Newark’s residents by providing $6,000 per year for two years. In partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), the City of Newark has joined 60 mayors across the U.S. who have pledged to launch a guaranteed income pilot program in their respective cities. The frequency at which individuals will receive disbursements will be a unique feature of Newark’s program. Program participants will receive payments on a bi-weekly and semi-annual basis, with 50 percent receiving $250 bi-weekly and 50 percent receiving $3,000 twice yearly.

“At a time when our city still faces the challenges of COVID-19 and its economic impact, the biggest and most important institution that we should be investing in is families,” said Mayor Baraka. “This will give our residents a much needed boost and allow them to participate in the economy, regain their economic independence and strength, and move toward prosperity. This type of intervention can support our economy and our future.”

On July 23, eligible Newark residents were invited to apply to the pilot program at 8:00 a.m. on the program’s website. In order to qualify, individuals were required to meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be a Newark resident
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must possess an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line
  • Must be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

After launching the application process in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR), the portal closed approximately two hours later, after receiving more than 1,200 applications. This study will be comprised of individuals who will receive a guaranteed income and individuals who will not receive a guaranteed income in order to draw a comparison between both groups over a two-year period. All participants were randomly selected by CGIR.

“The Newark Movement for Economic Equity has already raised $6.2M from a mix of private and public funds from the American Rescue Plan,” said Kevin Callaghan, Newark’s Philanthropic Liaison. “This is a model public-private partnership that highlights the catalytic impact that philanthropy can have when it is nimble and responsive to community and the broader stakeholder community.”  

“It has been amazing to see how impactful this additional support has already been for residents and families,” said Kaleena Berryman, Program Manager of the Newark Movement for Economic Equity. “To hear their stories - the losses many have suffered due to COVID-19, and how these additional dollars will be used to help them recover, have been inspiring. We are proud to support this project, serve residents, and over the next two years, connect them to other city resources that can help them achieve personal goals.”

Dr. Stacia West of the University of Tennessee and Dr. Amy Castro Baker of the University of Pennsylvania will lead the research for the two-year pilot. The research will focus on the impact that a guaranteed income can have on household income volatility and housing insecurity.

The program has identified MoCaFi, a Newark-based, African American-owned, financial technology company as its financial disbursement partner. MoCaFi will provide banking, credit building, and wealth coaching services to pilot participants.

Mayor Baraka is a founding member of the Mayors for Guaranteed Income, which launched in June 2020. The Newark Movement for Economic Equity is a collaboration between the Office of the Mayor, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, MoCaFi, and Newark residents.

Interested donors can contact Newark’s Philanthropic Liaison Kevin Callaghan at for more information. Contributions will support the City’s goals to pilot guaranteed income, uncover unique research insights that will be used to inform policy, and help residents become financially secure and resilient.

To learn more visit For updates, follow @NewarkEquity on Twitter and Instagram.


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