The Arizona House of Representatives recently voted in favor of a bill that will prohibit the State from creating a Basic Income Program. This program provides money to individuals in need with low income. Basic Income Programs are gaining popularity across the United States. For instance, in Baltimore, a program named “Young Family Success Fund” provides young mothers with $1000 per month. Similarly, in Austin, a program grants $1000 to families who are living under the poverty line. Republican Rep Lupe Diaz called the these programs unearned income, and stated that shelling out this sort of money would discourage people from working.

It’s ridiculous because in America, it’s impossible for a person to live off $1000/month, especially with kids. These payments would only serve to supplement their income. Not the mention how these payment would be used to fuel the economy, and more importantly help offset homelessness. Arizona lawmakers allocated $150M to the housing fund and $60M to a new Homeless Shelter in 2023. Despite all that the State still ranked number four in the nation when it came to homelessness.

Joan Serviss, the Director of Arizona’s Department of Housing, has acknowledged that the state has fell behind in constructing affordable housing. She pointed out that addressing the issue would take time. However time is not on the side of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Even if Arizona is opposed to providing financial aid, why not distribute $1,000 vouchers to those in need. This could be given directly to landlords. I am most certain that it would be better to give out vouchers than to wait for affordable housing.