SB 603 would establish the People's Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program to be administered by the Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS). Using $25 million appropriated from the state's general fund, the program would "provide 12 monthly payments of $1,000 to individuals who are experiencing homelessness, are at risk of homelessness, are severely rent burdened or earn at or below 60 percent of area median income." (Related: More and more people are becoming HOMELESS as America's economic condition worsens.)
Democratic State Sen. Wlnsvey Campos sponsored the bill in the Oregon State Senate, while State Rep. Khanh Pham – also a Democrat – backed the bill in the Oregon House of Representatives. If passed, SB 603 would be implemented starting January 2026.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 14,000 people are homeless in Oregon. No less than 4,000 of those people are in the Portland area, where homeless encampments in busy neighborhoods and business corridors have become common.
SB603 stipulates that the monthly $1,000 can be used to pay for rent, food, childcare "or other goods or services of the participant's choosing" – essentially putting no limitations on how recipients should spend the money. This has worried critics, who warn that some of the homeless people receiving this stipend could spend the money on alcohol and drugs.
The Oregon proposal would also require a study on the recipients of the cash assistance based on demographics – including race, veteran status and risk of domestic violence. It also mandated that the study explore various policy-design choices and program models for providing long-term cash assistance to a variety of populations in different regions of Oregon.
"It must consider disparate impacts on communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities and persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other minority gender identities and sexual orientations," the proposed law included. "It also must explore how to make cash assistance, accessible to individuals who do not have Social Security numbers or who have only taxpayer-identification numbers."
Oregon is not the first place to consider UBI programs.
Thirty residents in Palm Springs, California will also be eligible to receive up to $800 per month for 18 months. The applicants must be identifying as transgender or non-binary and they will be paid for with no strings attached.
Applications are to start on March 15 and those encouraged to apply are clients of Palm Springs-based nonprofits Queer Works and DAP Health who earn less than $16,600 per year, and live, work or spend the majority of their day in the city.
Prior to Palm Springs, the city of Coachella also approved a program to provide 140 low-income immigrant families with a $400 monthly stipend for two years. Meanwhile, the program was shown to help increase full-time employment in the city of Stockton, California – one of the first cities in the country to test out UBI. Before the UBI program in Stockton started, 28 percent of recipients had full-time employment. One year later, 40 percent of recipients had full-time work.
More stories related to homelessness can be found on HomelessAgenda.com.
Watch Next News Network's Gary Fanchi warn about how homeless people in Oregon are terrorizing neighborhoods.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.