The Madison Forward Fund, a guaranteed income research program to support low-income families in Madison, Wisconsin, launched on June 21, 2022. The effort brings together the City of Madison, the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice.
Any family is eligible to apply as long as they are permanent residents of the City of Madison, have at least one child under the age of 18 living in the household, and have a household income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Line. The application is open from June 21-July 3, 2022. Families will be notified of their selection into the program mid-July and the first payments are expected to begin in late summer.
“A guaranteed income can also improve the mental and physical health of recipients. Piloting this program in Madison not only helps Madison families, it helps build the case for a national guaranteed income program.”
—Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway
“We know that monthly cash aid can help families access healthy food, buy school supplies, or even get a better job,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, “A guaranteed income can also improve the mental and physical health of recipients. Piloting this program in Madison not only helps Madison families, it helps build the case for a national guaranteed income program.”
“This guaranteed income program is important because every person has the right to basic human needs, such as food, housing, healthcare, and financial stability. We are all equally worthy of these basic human needs,” said Blake Roberts Crall, Program Manager for the Madison Forward Fund. “The program supplements, rather than replaces, the existing social safety net, providing families with a basic level of financial security, and the autonomy and flexibility to manage their finances in the way that is best for their own needs. I hope this pilot can inform future policies and how we think about welfare in America.”
“We at the Institute for Research on Poverty are excited to be part of this innovative program,” said Katherine Magnuson, IRP Director and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Social Work at UW-Madison. “As social science researchers, we are eager to learn what impact unrestricted cash aid can have for families in our community, and to share those findings with affected communities, policymakers and legislators, and other researchers across the country.”
More information on the program, eligibility, partnering organizations, and research into guaranteed income projects can be found on the Madison Forward Fund website.