Apply Now to Gain Guaranteed Income

City of Alameda
City of Alameda

Apply Now to Gain Guaranteed Income

The City of Alameda’s guaranteed income pilot program (GBI), Rise Up Alameda, will begin accepting applications for eligible households at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. Applications must be submitted by 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept.18, to be considered for the program.

Rise Up Alameda will provide 150 randomly selected low-income households with $1,000 per month for 24 months. The money has no strings attached and selected participants may use the payments in ways that best meet their basic needs. The goal of Rise Up Alameda is to reduce economic instability for program participants, help change local narratives and perceptions surrounding poverty and the provision of public benefits and help to support and inform the larger discussion regarding public benefits and anti-poverty policies.

Applicants must be a City of Alameda resident, 18 years of age or older and have a yearly household income at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). For a one-person household, the applicant must have a household income below $51,800 a year. For a two-person household, the applicant must have a household income below $59,200 a year. The program can be for people in a household of up to eight people.

At its May 17, 2022, meeting, the City Council approved the pilot program with a 3-2 vote. Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, then Vice-Mayor and current Councilmember Malia Vella, and former Councilmember John Knox White voted in favor of the project, while councilmembers Trish Herrera Spencer and Tony Daysog voted against the program.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any city to be throwing $4.6 million at a limited handful of just 150 households,” said Daysog at the meeting. “I don’t think this is proper for this City Hall to do.”

The city will appropriate $4.6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 2021 to finance the program.

After the council approved the project, they began searching for partners to manage the program. City staff spent the months since learning about other GBI programs in cities like Oakland and Long Beach, as well as meeting with Bay Area communities of practice and community stakeholders to inform the program design. The city hired Operation Dignity as its implementation partner and ABT Associates as its research partner. The final partner the city aligned with is Usio Inc. Usio Inc. will serve as the financial partner for Rise Up Alameda.

The total approved amount of the contract is $3,602,987.50, which includes $2,987.50 for disbursement services and $3.6 million of passthrough funds to be used for direct payments to program participants. Usio’s main job will be to facilitate payments to program participants via the Akimbo prepaid Mastercard and handle any operational and customer service activities. The fund movement will be fully transparent as the city will have full access to the Usio site where payments are made.

Individuals can apply at: Applications for Rise Up Alameda will be accepted through an online portal available in multiple languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Arabic, Korean, and Vietnamese. In addition, the city is providing multilingual application support and free computer access — available on a first come, first serve basis — at Alameda Free Library, Mastick Senior Center and Alameda Point Collaborative. The application will take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

For more information about Rise Up Alameda, visit the website or contact Operation Dignity at