Educating and Empowering New Yorkers
Office of Financial Empowerment
Created in 2006, this was 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.
Financial Empowerment Centers
The Bloomberg administration created the centers to help clients with money management, budgeting, credit counseling, negotiating with creditors, finding affordable banking services, and dealing with debt. They offered these services in multiple languages. From when the pilot opened in 2008 to 2013, the program grew to more than 25 centers and financial counselors have:
- Conducted more than 44,414 counseling sessions
- Served more than 26,048 clients
- Reviewed credit reports with over 19,000 clients
- Helped New York City residents reduce more than $14.7 million in debt
- Increased savings nearly $2.4 million
Tax Credit Campaign
The City’s campaign helped New Yorkers claim almost $20 billion in Federal, State and City refunds, including $1 billion directly through the City’s network of free and low cost tax prep sites.
$aveNYC and SaveUSA: A National Tax Time Savings Program
Beginning in 2008, more than 7,000 tax filers participated in the SaveUSA (originally $aveNYC) program. Despite having average incomes of less than $20,000, nearly one-third of SaveUSA participants pledged to save the maximum amount, nearly 75 percent saved for the full year and received the match, and about 40 percent of participants chose to save again the following year.
Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition
Founded in 2008 with former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the twelve CFE cities provided leadership and guidance on how cities can galvanize resources and focused attention on critical issues regarding financial stability.
Protect Your Money Campaign
In 2010, DCA launched a series of public awareness campaigns under the umbrella of “Protect Your Money” to educate New Yorkers about the services offered to help consumers and business owners protect their hard-earned dollars.
Identity Theft Prevention Initiative
Beginning in 2008, the annual Shred Fest event helped almost 12,000 New Yorkers shred more than 270 tons of paper.