New Infographic Summarizing Preliminary Results from the UC Davis research team that is evaluating the Yolo County Basic Income
Featuring work by CPIR Affiliates Catherine Brinkley, Daniel Choe and Rose Kagawa
In 2022, Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency(HHSA) launched the Yolo County Basic Income (YOBI)project and engaged the UC Davis Center for Regional Change to evaluate the project via the collection of survey data from YOBI participants. The YOBI project was designed to address the county’s poverty, which is ~25%higher than the California rate reported in the 2021 Census.
More than 15%  of people in Yolo County live in poverty, which for a family of four, means living on less than$30,000 a year. Poverty profoundly impacts early childhood development , and YOBI aims to improve the health and wellness of caregivers and children in Yolo County living in poverty. Every family with a child under the age of 5, experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless, in the CalWORKs Housing Support Program(HSP) at the launch of YOBI was offered enrollment with a monthly cash payment, provided in the form of a prepaid ‘USIO’ card, to boost household income above the adjusted California poverty line for 2 years. Additionally, some families in CalWORKs but not in HSP received the YOBI cash payment. Only households with either a pregnant parent or child under the age of five were eligible to enroll to receive the YOBI payment. Three groups of families were enrolled, those receiving the cash benefit and HSP (YOBI + HSP),those receiving the cash benefit only (YOBI Only) and a control group of families on CalWORKs but not receiving YOBI or HSP. At baseline forty-five YOBI + HSP, thirty YOBI Only and thirteen control group families responded to the survey, with forty-four YOBI + HSP, twenty-four YOBI Only and fifty-seven control group families responding during Summer and forty-three YOBI + HSP, twenty-three YOBI Only, and forty-five control group families responding during the Fall. The monthly cash transfer amount was calculated by subtracting the difference between the income of each household enrolled in the YOBI project from the California Poverty Measure (CPM) and adding one dollar to the difference to determine the cash amount provided.