What is the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE)? The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is the first local government initiative in the nation with a mission to educate, empower, and protect New Yorkers with low incomes so they can build assets and make the most of their financial resources. Toward that end, OFE seeks to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial education and counseling; improve access to income-boosting tax credits; connect households to safe and affordable banking and asset-building products and services; and enforce and improve consumer protections to enhance financial stability. Learn more about OFE or download NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment: A Progress Report on the First Three Years, 2006–2009
What is New York City doing to tackle poverty? New York City established the Center for Economic Opportunity to oversee programs that tackle poverty. The Center's mission is to reduce the number of people living in poverty in New York City through the implementation of results-driven and innovative initiatives. Programs are aimed at reducing poverty in three key populations throughout the City: the Working Poor, Young Adults 16-24, and Children 0-5. By drawing from successful examples and bringing together New York's public and private resources, the City can help foster a new confidence in its ability to reduce poverty in a systematic and permanent fashion. Ultimately, by reducing need, rewarding personal initiative, and reaffirming hope, the City strives to create a future that benefits every New Yorker.
What is the Financial Education Network (FEN)? OFE has assembled a dynamic network of partners working to provide high-quality financial education and develop innovative asset-building and financial education strategies. Learn more about the Financial Education Network
What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)? The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) returns federal, state, and, in New York City, local government dollars to qualifying working families and individuals through either a credit on taxes or as cash refunds. The refund amount varies depending on your income and marital and parental status. Learn more about the EITC
How can I speak with a Financial Empowerment Center counselor? The City’s free Financial Empowerment Centers offer one-on-one financial counseling provided by professional counselors in person or by phone in English, Spanish, and Chinese. You can schedule an appointment at a borough’s main Financial Empowerment Center location or a mobile Center location. Find a Financial Empowerment Center in your neighborhood
How can I join the Financial Education Network? Organizations can join the Financial Education Network by submitting an application to the Office of Financial Empowerment. OFE will review the application and contact you with further information.