AUSTIN, Texas — Families struggling to make ends meet can now breathe a sigh of relief. On Thursday, Austin City Council approved a financial assistance measure that will allocate funds to 85 families in need. The city will distribute $1.18 million to help with utility payments, rent, child care and other necessities economically disadvantaged households can’t attain.

A thousand dollars will be given to the qualified families each month. 

Participants in the program may have to meet the following criteria:

  • Households at risk of eviction
  • Residents with a history of missing utility payments
  • People that qualify for supportive housing after transitioning out of homelessness

After the proposal’s delay on April 22, given the council members’ uncertainty, an executive session was called. Upon hearing of UpTogether’s success with its pilot program to aid over 160 Austin families, the council was sold on the idea. Now, with its approval, the city’s contract with the California-based nonprofit is in motion.

According to UpTogether’s site, it “invested more than $120 million in families at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.”

Since the nonprofit’s expansion into Central Texas, it’s helping families achieve economic mobility. UpTogether will oversee Austin’s guaranteed income program for its pilot run.

Mayor Steve Adler posted his public support for the program before voting began Thursday.

City leaders and UpTogether want to ensure this issuance isn’t seen as charity, but rather as a critical investment to help improve the lives of undervalued communities.