Hamilton woman can't afford rent, stuck in lease after province scraps basic income

Posted
August 8, 2018

Her income doubled. She signed her first lease. She was a step closer to having her children live with her and getting her life on track.

But now that the basic income pilot project has been cancelled, Harley Worden says she'll be back at square one.
 
Last October, the 22-year-old from Hamilton received her acceptance letter into the basic income pilot project.
 

It meant that she'd be receiving a guaranteed income through a three-year study. She went from getting $721 a month on Ontario Works (OW) to $1,400.

Worden was finally able to sign her first independent lease, and to have a place of her own for her and her three children.

"I was ecstatic. I actually cried tears of joy. It seemed that something was finally going right for me," Worden said.

"It meant a lot to me."

She was one of about 1,000 Hamiltonians in the study also taking place in Thunder Bay, Lindsay, Brantford and Brant County.

Altogether, 4,000 Ontarians were part of the project. Of those, half got the basic income every month. The other half were compensated for filling out surveys for the research project.

Then last week, Doug Ford's government announced the program would be scrapped.

Read more: Hamilton woman can't afford rent, stuck in lease after province scraps basic income