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Lansing is considering a program where certain residents get monthly no-strings attached payments aimed at increasing their standard of living

Lansing could test out a program where certain residents get no-strings-attached monthly stipends.

A proposal submitted by Mayor Andy Schor for the City Council’s approval would earmark one million dollars in federal pandemic recovery funds for a universal basic income pilot program.

Officials are still ironing out details about when the program would start and who would qualify if funding is approved.

Amber Paxton leads Lansing’s Office of Financial Empowerment.

She says the city is considering an 18-month program where about 150 households get $500 monthly payments.

Paxton says the concept has more credence after the federal government sent stimulus checks to millions of Americans during the pandemic.

“People saw that not only could it be done, but it could be done and really, really keep people who were close to the edge financially, from having this sort of, you know, mountain to climb when it was over.”

Paxton suggests the money could go to people living in under-resourced areas that City Hall calls neighborhoods of focus.