Office of Financial Empowerment
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OFE Releases Four-Year Report Highlighting Achievements and Strategies to Expand Financial Empowerment and Poverty Reduction Efforts
Covering the years 2010 through 2013, OFE’s progress report details our work—both locally and nationally through replication efforts—developing, implementing, testing, and integrating programs and products in four critical areas:
   •  Financial counseling and education
   •  Access to banking
   •  Asset building
   •  Consumer protection
Read the report
Learn more about OFE
Learn more about the CFE Coalition
DCA Releases Final Report in Supervitamin Series
Strategy #5: Integrating Asset Building, the last report in the series “Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs,” describes the Department’s efforts to integrate short-term savings opportunities in public programs to help households take a crucial step toward their long-term savings goals and ultimately achieve—and sustain—financial stability.
Read the report
Learn more about the Supervitamin Series

Immigrant Financial Services Study
Released November 2013, the full report is a comprehensive overview of the data, analysis, and key findings of the Immigrant Financial Services Study, one of the first field research initiatives in New York City to look specifically at the financial needs and practices of recent immigrants. Among key findings:

  • Regardless of income levels or banked status, immigrants are saving.
  • Misperceptions and uncertainty about the account opening process are impeding financial access.
  • Immigrants represent missed market opportunities for mainstream banking institutions.
Download full report
Download Research Brief in: 
   English   Español (Spanish)    中文 (Chinese)
Read press release
Get free financial counseling
Open a direct deposit account 

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Announce City’s Financial Empowerment Centers Have Helped More Than 25,000 New Yorkers
Since 2008, counselors at the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers have helped clients pay down more than $14.7 million in debt and build more than $2.4 million in savings. Free, professional, one-on-one financial counseling is available to all New Yorkers at almost 30 Centers Citywide.
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you
Watch video on how New Yorkers tackle their debt 
Read the press release
Learn about national Financial Empowerment Center initiative
DCA Releases New Report in Supervitamin Series
Strategy #4: Targeting Consumer Financial Protection Powers, the latest report in the series “Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs,” outlines how cities can use consumer protection regulations, outreach and education, and advocacy to protect the most vulnerable consumers in the financial marketplace while enhancing the effectiveness of public programs.
Read the report
Read the press release
Learn more about the Supervitamin Series
DCA Offers Back-to-School Money Lessons for Kids of All Ages
The back-to-school shopping season is a perfect opportunity to help kids learn how to be responsible with money. DCA is promoting lesson plans—with fun activities—for preschool through high school grade levels that parents can use with their children. Do you have back-to-school money lessons to share? Tweet @NYCDCA or post to our Facebook page.
Get Back-to-School Money Lessons
Parents: Need budgeting help? Get free financial counseling at a Financial Empowerment Center

Congressman Serrano and 20 Co-Sponsors  Introduce "Financial Security Credit Act"
Bill Builds on SaveUSA, NYC's Tax Time Savings Incentive Program

Under proposed legislation, tax filers with low and moderate incomes could build savings to meet their short- and long-term needs. Filers would:

  • Apply for the refundable Financial Security Credit on their federal income tax form
  • Directly deposit part of their tax refund in eligible savings products, including a basic savings account
  • Open an eligible account on the tax form, if needed
  • Receive a 50% match – up to $500 – on savings they maintain for eight months

Read Congressman Serrano's press release
Watch PBS video about SaveUSA
Read SaveUSA Program Implementation: Insights from the Field
Read MDRC Policy Brief about SaveUSA
Read University of North Carolina Study about $aveNYC


Shred Fest is May 19!
Shred Fest is a free annual City event to help New Yorkers prevent identity theft. At Shred Fest you can safely shred papers containing personal information using shredding trucks and get tips. The event is from 10 am to 4 pm on May 19 at 10 locations Citywide.
Learn more    
Read press release 
University of North Carolina (UNC) Study Confirms Success of $aveNYC in Encouraging Taxpayers with Low Incomes to Save
The UNC Center for Community Capital released "The Importance of Tax Time for Building Emergency Savings: Major Findings from $aveNYC," which concluded that taxpayers with low incomes will save money when offered an incentive, an easy enrollment process, and a safe account. A matched savings program, $aveNYC has been replicated in several cities as SaveUSA. The research supports a change in federal policy to implement tax time savings match programs for filers with low incomes.
Download Study
Read UNC press release
Learn about the SaveUSA program 
NYC Media Adds “Tackle Your Debt” to Its That’s So New York Video Series
You can get free, one-on-one professional financial counseling at one of New York City's Financial Empowerment Centers. Counselors have helped over 20,000 New Yorkers collectively reduce over 10 million dollars in debt.
Watch video
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you
Harvard University Names DCA's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) an Innovations in American Government Award Finalist 
In recognizing OFE as one of the nation’s Top 25 public sector programs, Harvard cited the Office’s work connecting New Yorkers with low incomes with financial education counseling and asset building services.
Read Harvard’s announcement 
View all finalists
Learn about OFE initiatives 
U.S. Treasury Department’s Ready.Save.Grow. Initiative Makes Saving Easier than Ever
Did you know that you can buy a savings bond for just $25 and other U.S. Treasury securities starting at $100? You can buy and manage these affordable, safe, and convenient investments either online or through payroll direct deposit.
Go to Ready.Save.Grow. Web site for more information 
Learn about NYC Direct Deposit
Schedule a free financial counseling appointment at an NYC Financial Empowerment Center

DCA and Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Release Immigrant Financial Services Study Research Brief
Study Reveals Gaps in Financial Services for Immigrant Households with Low Incomes and Identifies Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships and Financial Institutions to Provide Financial Access
This Study is one of NYC’s first field research initiatives to look specifically at the financial needs and practices of recent immigrants in three communities: Chinese, Ecuadorian, Mexican. Among key findings:

  • 57% of Mexican, 35% of Ecuadorian, and 5% of Chinese participants in the Study sample did not have a bank account.
  • 80% of immigrant survey participants who make less than $300 a week report having savings.
  • High incidence of money transfers back to home countries represents a significant market opportunity for mainstream financial banking institutions.

The Study received generous support from Citi Community Development and The New York Community Trust.
Download Study in: 
   English   Español (Spanish)    中文 (Chinese)
Read press release
Get free financial counseling
Open a direct deposit account 

Tax Day was April 15. However, you can still file your 2012 tax return for free. 
Learn if you qualify to file your taxes for free
Read Tax Credit Fast Facts
Get important tax information for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Sandy
NYC Announces Partnership with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund to Replicate Nationally DCA's Work in Consumer Protection and Financial Empowerment
Read City Hall press release 
Watch the video announcement
Visit CFE Fund Web site 
Debt Collectors are DCA’s Top Consumer Complaint for Fifth Year in a Row
Home Improvement Contractors and General Retail, Furniture, and Electronics Stores are Also Top Complaints in 2012
In 2012, DCA received more than 650 complaints about debt collectors and successfully erased over $1.12 million in wrongful debt collection, including attempts to collect debt that New Yorkers did not owe. DCA urges New Yorkers struggling with debt to schedule a free, one-on-one financial counseling appointment at a New York City Financial Empowerment Center.
Read the press release and get tips 
Read DCA’s Consumer Publications which include debt collection information
Get important information about home improvement contractors
Check if a business is licensed by DCA
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you to take control of your finances 
DCA Announces "Financial Empowerment App" Hackathon Winners
DCA awarded the top prize totaling $1,000 to Andrew Jiang, Xinzhao Liang, and Rachel Tsao for Remind Me, an app that automatically calls Financial Empowerment Center clients to remind them of their appointments and offers additional options. Runners-up, who were awarded $500, include Alexandros Hatzakis and Noel Hidalgo for MoneyHack Map and Jeffrey Novich for Pay Yourself First. Twenty-five designers and developers participated in the Hackathon to create digital tools to help New Yorkers achieve their financial goals.
Read the press release
Learn more about the winning apps 

DCA to Host First “Financial Empowerment App” Hackathon March 2-3 at DUMBO Loft in Brooklyn
Online Registration Closes 5 p.m. on March 1
DCA invites firms and individual developers and designers to create digital tools to help New Yorkers achieve their financial goals. The winning team or individual will receive $1,000. Two second place winners will receive $500 each. Space is limited to 150 participants. The Hackathon is generously supported by Capital One and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
Read the press release
Learn more and sign up for the event   


Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Alert New Yorkers about Free or Low-cost Tax Filing Options, Plus a Special Opportunity for Filers Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Eligible New Yorkers can prepare their own taxes online for free, get their taxes done in person for free at more than 90 sites throughout the five boroughs, or get their taxes done at a participating H&R Block for only $49 with the City coupon. This tax season, residents in Hurricane Sandy-affected ZIP codes can visit any H&R Block location, where a tax professional will prepare Federal Form 4684 (Casualties and Thefts) for free regardless of filers’ income.
Read the press release
Find out which tax filing option is best for you
Get important tax information for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Sandy 


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