The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) was created to develop a new model for government outreach, using community organizing principles to re-envision how the City provides services to its most vulnerable communities. Rather than expecting constituents to navigate a complex City bureaucracy to get the help they need, PEU adopts grassroots tactics to meet residents where they are — at their doors and on their phones, in their social media feeds and in their communities. PEU combines this proactive outreach with comprehensive case management, and in doing so, combats disillusionment and builds long-term relationships between New Yorkers and their government.
The Tenant Support Unit (TSU) provides free information on tenants’ rights, assistance navigating housing-related issues, and connection to a range of resources, including the Tenant Resource Portal, anti-eviction legal assistance, the home repairs program, and rent freeze and homeowner tax exemption programs.
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The Home Support Unit (HSU) conducts outreach to rental owners and brokers in order to identify vacant homes for voucher holders living in shelters. HSU supports owners and brokers throughout the lease-up process, improving their experience with rental subsidies so that they continue to provide units to voucher recipients in the future.
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GetCoveredNYC provides free assistance for New Yorkers seeking to enroll in health care, regardless of immigration status or income. Our Specialists speak more than 20 languages and conduct outreach to proactively identify uninsured New Yorkers and help them get access to health care and other health-related benefits.
As the City’s in-house “campaign” experts, PEU’s Special Projects Team leverages interagency resources, City staff volunteers, and technology in agile and creative ways to design and implement new outreach strategies for the City’s most pressing initiatives. Throughout the pandemic, PEU coordinated special projects connecting New Yorkers to a range of benefits and services, including vaccine appointments, free tax prep, the Child Tax Credit, the Affordable Connectivity Program, COVID recovery meals, and more.