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Asset Development

asset development

To ensure low-income New Yorkers can make the most out of their financial resources and build up assets to help them plan for long term success and weather short term challenges, NYC Opportunity has developed a number of innovative programs.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the cornerstones of antipoverty policy, however, singles and those without dependent children have a relatively small benefit relative to families with children. NYC Opportunity is currently testing an expanded EITC credit for single workers that would more closely approximate the benefit for families. NYC Opportunity also launched initiatives to promote financial literacy for low-income New Yorkers in partnership with the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), which was established by NYC Opportunity in 2006 as the first municipal office in the nation designed to educate, empower, and protect City residents with low incomes. Together, NYC Opportunity and OFE spearhead a range of programs whose key outcomes included amount of debt reduced, numbers of savings accounts opened, and tax credits received. In addition to programs that directly address asset development, several education and employment initiatives now also integrate financial education and counseling into their on-going services

Asset Development Program Data by Fiscal Year


Child Care Tax Credit

The Child Care Tax Credit provides low-income eligible families with a refundable tax credit to help pay for child-care expenses. When combined with the Federal and State childcare tax credits, a New York City family can receive over $6,000 yearly to help offset the cost of child-care. At the time of its creation, New York City was one of the only two cities nation-wide offering this local credit.

Child Care Tax Credit Reports

To learn more about the Child Care Tax Credit, visit the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

Baby's First Years - Current Portfolio

Baby’s First Years is the first rigorous study in the United States to assess the impact of poverty reduction on infant and toddlers' cognitive, emotional, and brain development. By studying the impact of monthly, unconditional cash allowance to low-income mothers and their children in the first three years of the child’s life, the data from this study will help identify whether reducing poverty can affect early childhood development and the family processes that support child development.

Baby's First Year's Overview

Designing for Financial Empowerment (DFE)

Designing for Financial Empowerment was a cross-sector initiative exploring how human-centered design can be used to make public financial empowerment services more effective and accessible. Projects brought together citizens, experts, community-based organizations, and government partners to build better services for tax-time assistance, financial counseling, and financial literacy education for immigrants. This program is currently inactive.

To learn more, visit the DFE website.

Family Rewards - SIF

Family Rewards logo

Family Rewards offered cash rewards to over 1,200 low-income families in New York City and Memphis for eight activities related to high school students’ academic achievement and effort, families’ preventive health care efforts, and parents’ work and training. A network of community organizations and partners supported families’ efforts to earn by providing information, referrals, and advisement. The program goal was to change behavior and habits, helping families earn income over the short term and reducing intergenerational poverty in the long term. This program is currently inactive.

Family Rewards Evaluation Reports

Effects of a Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Two American Cities: Findings from Family Rewards 2.0 - 2016
Effects of a Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Two American Cities: Executive Summary - 2016
Family Rewards Evaluation: Findings at a Glance - 2014
MDRC Family Rewards 2.0 Early Lessons - 2014
Early Findings from New York City’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program - 2010

NYC Office of Financial Empowerment

One of NYC Opportunity's first programs, the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is the nation’s first municipal office whose central mission is to educate, empower, and protect City residents with low to moderate incomes, enabling them to build assets and make the most of their financial resources. To learn more, visit the OFE website.

Paycheck Plus

Paycheck Plus is a demonstration project testing a simulated, expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) of up to $2,000 for low-income single (unmarried) workers without dependent children in their tax household through a randomized control trial. In partnership with the Department of Social Services and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Paycheck Plus is partially federally funded through a Section 1115 waiver to study noncustodial parent participants and impacts.

Paycheck Plus Evaluation Reports


SaveUSA logo

SaveUSA was a tax-time savings program operated at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites that offered eligible individuals a 50 percent match if they deposit a portion of their tax refund into a savings account and maintain the initial deposit for approximately one year. To participate in the program, eligible tax filers opened a specially designated SaveUSA account and deposit at the point of tax preparation, with a minimum of $200 in the account. If they leave this initial deposit untouched for approximately one year, they receive a 50 percent match (up to $500). This program is currently inactive.

SaveUSA Evaluation Reports

Youth Financial Empowerment

Youth Financial Empowerment was a five-year pilot that taught financial literacy skills and provided Individual Development Accounts to youth who were aging out of the foster care system. This program is currently inactive.