Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Departments of Housing Preservation and Development and Consumer Affairs Launch "Ready to Rent: Financial Counseling for Affordable Housing" Program
New City Program Aims to Improve Financial Preparedness for New Yorkers Applying to Affordable Housing Lotteries
NEW YORK, NY—New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced the launch of the “Ready to Rent: Financial Counseling for Affordable Housing” program. This new program, in partnership with the financial counseling provider Ariva and HPD’s Housing Ambassadors, will provide free one-on-one financial counseling and additional assistance to those seeking affordable housing.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Labor Policy and Standards, with New York City Commission on Human Rights and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, Host Public Hearing on the State of Workers' Rights in New York City
Public Hearing is one of City’s Office of Labor Policy & Standard’s Initiatives to Build New Generation of Workplace Protections for New York City
NEW YORK, NY—The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS), in collaboration with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), tonight will convene a public hearing on the state of workers’ rights in New York City at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. DCA’s OLPS is the largest municipal labor standards office in the country with a robust staff of attorneys, investigators, outreach and education specialists, as well as research and policy analysts. Set up in 2016 to be a dedicated hub in City government for workers’ issues, the Office will author a report following the hearing that sets forth policies the City can pursue, particularly in light of the lack of commitment from the presidential administration to workers’ rights. Building on its record of effective enforcement of municipal labor laws, tonight’s hearing and the report that will follow is one of OLPS’ many initiatives as a leader among local governments around the country that are seeking to step into the gap on strengthening workplace protections.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation to Better Promote Environmental Justice Through the Work of City Agencies
Signs legislation to better protect consumers from immigration services fraud, and holds a hearing to prohibit employers from asking for candidates’ salary history
NEW YORK, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio today held public hearings for and signed seven pieces of legislation into law – Intro. 564-A in relation to reviewing the feasibility of establishing online applications for all permits, licenses, and registrations issued by city agencies; Intro. 1112-A in relation to requiring the Parks Department to post on its website information relating to various tree maintenance activities; Intro. 1454, in relation to establishing the New Dorp Business Improvement District in Staten Island; Intro. 886-A in relation to identifying and addressing environmental justice issues; Intro. 359-A in relation to an environmental justice and online portal; Intro. 746-A in relation to imposing stricter guidelines for providers and further protect customers against immigration services fraud and unauthorized practice of the law; Intro. 708-A in relation to establishing a disconnected youth task force; and held a hearing for Intro. 1253-A in relation to prohibiting employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
De Blasio Administration, City Council Members and Elected Officials Announce Sweeping Legislation to Curb Smoking, Tobacco Usage
Proposals will reduce number of smokers in NYC by 160,000
NEW YORK, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a series of legislative proposals to reduce the number of smokers in New York City by 160,000 over the next three years. While smoking rates in New York City have declined from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.3 percent in 2015, the city still has more than 900,000 smokers, including 15,000 youth. There are also 174,000 adults and 42,000 adolescents using e-cigarettes. These new proposals will decrease smoking rates to a historically low rate of 12 percent.
Monday, April 17, 2017
TLC Will Initiate Rulemaking on Tipping in FHV Industry
One step in a larger process to ensure TLC-licensed drivers earn a livable wage while working for-hire
Following a recent hearing on industry economics where dozens of professional drivers gave testimony about their struggle for a decent livelihood, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) plans to initiate rulemaking in regards to tipping options in the For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) industry. The proposal, which will be introduced in the coming months, will be one step in a greater process to ensure that TLC-licensed drivers earn a livable wage while working for-hire.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Just Over a Week Until Tax Day: Department of Consumer Affairs Reminds Eligible New Yorkers to File Their Taxes for Free
New Yorkers Earning $64,000 or Less Can File for Free Online and at In Person Sites Citywide
NEW YORK, NY –Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas reminds New Yorkers that with just over a week left to file taxes before the April 18 deadline and the last weekend before the Passover and Easter holidays, they should file soon. New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less in 2016 can file for free using NYC Free Tax Prep online or at one of the in person sites citywide. Additional hours and appointments continue to be added to accommodate last-minute filers. New Yorkers can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxprep to find the most convenient location and its hours.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Used But No Longer Abused: Mayor, Department Of Consumer Affairs And Council Members Espinal, Garodnick, And Williams Announce New Legislation To Combat Predatory Sales And Financing Practices In The Used Car Industry
Department of Consumer Affairs and Council Member Espinal release report on their public hearing on predatory lending in the used car industry
NEW YORK, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas, Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr., Chair of the Council Committee on Consumer Affairs, Council Member Dan Garodnick, Chair of the Council Committee on Economic Development, and Council Member Jumaane D. Williams today announced a package of legislation to combat predatory practices in the used car industry. The legislation would require used car dealerships, which DCA licenses, to post a Consumer Bill of Rights and disclose information about financing and pricing, provide all required notices to the consumer be in whatever language used to negotiate the contract, and provide consumers with the option to cancel their contract within two days of the sale. The legislation comes as a result of the public hearing hosted by Commissioner Salas and Council Member Espinal last October to explore predatory lending in the used car industry. DCA and Council Member Espinal also issued a report on the public hearing that includes findings and recommendations.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Strong And Fair Economy: Three Years After Paid Sick Leave Expansion, Unemployment At Historic Lows
Department of Consumer Affairs Nearly Triples Paid Sick Leave Restitution for Nearly 16,000 New Yorkers
NEW YORK, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas and New Yorkers celebrated the third anniversary of New York’s Paid Sick Leave Law, which created the legal right to sick leave for 3.4 million private and nonprofit sector workers, nearly 1.2 million of whom did not previously have access to this vital workplace benefit. Last month, New York City recorded its lowest unemployment rate since 1976, continuing a strong expansion of new jobs that has coincided with new protections for employees. Over the past three years, DCA secured restitution for nearly 16,000 New Yorkers, and this past weekend the agency filed charges on behalf of nine JetBlue ground crew and flight attendants against JetBlue for violating the law.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Inauguration of the Financial Education Week 2017 and 3rd Anniversary of the Window of Financial Counseling
NEW YORK, NY—This past Monday March 20th, the inauguration of the VI Financial Education Week 2017 took place in the Consulate General of Mexico in New York in collaboration with various partner organizations and institutions; among the 50 consular representations in the United States, the Consulate in New York was selected to be the official inauguration.
21 de marzo de 2017
Se Inaugura En Consulado De México En Nueva York La VI Semana De Educación Financiera (SEF2017) Y Se Celebra El III Aniversario De La Ventanilla De Asesoría Financiera (VAF)
Nueva York, NY—El pasado 20 de marzo, el Consulado General de México en Nueva York, junto a representantes de organizaciones e instituciones asociadas, dieron oficial inicio a la Sexta Semana de Educación Financiera 2017; en toda la Red Consular de la Unión Americana, Nueva York fue la sede seleccionada para su lanzamiento nacional.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Department of Consumer Affairs Files Charges to Put the Brakes on Major World's Deceptive Financing and Sales Practices That Result in Predatory Lending Targeting Low Income and Immigrant New Yorkers
Consumer Affairs Calls on Other Potential Victims of Major World’s Deceptive Practices to Come Forward
NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced extensive charges against several used car dealerships that together comprise Queens-based Major World (Major World Español). The company’s three dealerships and their owners are being charged with using deceptive and illegal practices to profit from vulnerable low-income and immigrant consumers. DCA’s complaint document, which will be heard at the City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), alleges numerous violations and wide-ranging consumer harm, and seeks more than $2 million dollars in consumer restitution and fines (approximately $770,000 in restitution and $1.7 million in fines). DCA is also seeking revocation of the company’s three DCA secondhand auto dealer licenses (Major World Chevrolet (43-40 Northern Boulevard), Major World Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (50-30 Northern Boulevard), and Major Kia of Long Island City (44-11 Northern Boulevard) and the creation of a trust fund for any unidentified consumers who have been harmed. DCA also encourages any consumer who feels Major World lied to them about the price of their car to contact the agency by calling 311, or by filing a complaint at nyc.gov/dca.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
HPD Announces New and Enhanced Resources to Help New Yorkers Access the Housing Lottery
HPD launches a new informative video series and enhances its Housing Ambassador program
NEW YORK, NY—he New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer today announced enhanced resources for housing lottery applicants. HPD launched a new informative video series on the affordable housing lottery process. The first video in the series, “Applying to a New York City Affordable Housing Lottery: Video Guide”, gives an overview of the application process. HPD is also enhancing its Housing Ambassador program thanks to $195,000 in recent funding from New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. HPD’s Housing Ambassador Program is a network of community-based service providers New Yorkers can rely on for help finding and applying to affordable housing.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
One Month Until Tax Day: Department of Consumer Affairs Reminds Eligible New Yorkers to File Their Taxes for Free
New Yorkers Earning $64,000 or Less Can File for Free at More Than 200 Sites Citywide or Online
NEW YORK, NY—Today, on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Awareness Day, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas reminds New Yorkers that there is just a little over a month left to file taxes before the April 18 deadline. Commissioner Salas encouraged New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less in 2016 to file for free, using NYC Free Tax Prep available at more than 200 sites citywide or online.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Department of Consumer Affairs Launches First-of-its-Kind 'Paid Care Division' to Focus on the Needs of Low-wage Domestic and Home Care Workers
DCA Releases NYC Cares for Care Workers: An Overview of Rights and Resources for Paid Care Workers
NEW YORK, NY—The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has officially launched its new Paid Care Division within its Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) with the first in a series of events to bring together paid care workers, including home care and domestic workers, as well as workers’ rights organizations, policy experts, and legislators. On March 4, DCA along with the City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), convened more than a hundred home care workers, nannies, caregivers, and housecleaners and partners to discuss strategies for safeguarding workers’ rights in the face of new threats to immigrant and other vulnerable workers. DCA also announced the release of NYC Cares for Care Workers: An Overview of Rights and Resources for paid care workers.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
In Response to Growing Subprime Auto Lending Crisis, Department of Consumer Affairs Announces New "Getting Your Finances in Gear to Buy a Used Car" Guide
National Consumer Protection Week: DCA Warns New Yorkers about the Dangers of Used Car Debt Traps
NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced DCA’s new Getting Your Finances in Gear to Buy a Used Car guide, in response to the growing national subprime auto lending crisis. The guide informs New Yorkers of rights they have under the City’s Consumer Protection Law and also provides tips for what to watch for when purchasing a used car. DCA made the announcement at a press conference with federal, state, and city consumer protection agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Metropolitan New York, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
City Agencies Join Forces with Leading Muslim-American Organizations for #OneNewYork Day of Action: Protecting Our Muslim Communities
Consumer Affairs, Human Rights, Immigrant Affairs, Community Affairs Unit, Elected Officials, Leading Muslim-American Organizations and Community Partners Reassure and Educate Muslim New Yorkers about City Protections and Resources
NEW YORK, NY—Today, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), and Community Affairs Unit (CAU) hosted their #OneNewYork Day of Action: Protecting Our Muslim Communities to remind fellow New Yorkers, especially those hailing from Muslim communities, that the City is committed to protecting the rights of all New Yorkers where they live, work and shop, and also offers a variety of services to those in need, regardless of immigration status or ethnicity. Teams from the City, as well elected officials and volunteers from the Arab American Association of New York, Council on American-Islamic Relations – New York, Muslim Community Network, Council of Peoples Organization, Make The Road New York, New York Immigration Coalition, and other community partners, visited 12 subway stations to distribute information in multiple languages during the morning rush hour.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Consumer Affairs Commissioner Salas, BP Adams, and Grow Brooklyn Announce NYC Free Tax Prep Opening at Brooklyn Borough Hall
Local Leaders and Taxpayer Advocates Remind 1.1 Million Eligible New Yorkers to Claim Refund-boosting EITC, More Brooklyn Filers Eligible Than Any Other Borough
BROOKLYN, NY—Today, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and Grow Brooklyn, the largest non-paid tax preparer in the borough, officially opened the NYC Free Tax Prep site at Brooklyn Borough Hall, reminding the roughly 1.1 million eligible New Yorkers to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). With around 325,000 returns claiming the EITC in 2015, according to the IRS and Brookings Institution, Kings County has more residents claiming the credit than any other county in New York State and is amongst the highest in the nation. EITC is a Federal, State and City tax credit for qualifying families, non-custodial parents (NYS EITC only), and singles who work full time or part time or are self-employed. For working families in New York City, federal EITC claims average $2,411 ($2,484 in Brooklyn) and can be worth as much as $8,463 when combined with state and City credits. DCA Commissioner Salas and Borough President Adams also encouraged New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less, especially the 74 percent of EITC filers in Brooklyn who have previously paid a tax preparer, to file for free using NYC Free Tax Prep..
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Department of Consumer Affairs Kicks Off the Tax Season with Continued Expansion of NYC Free Tax Prep
City Expands Services to New Neighborhoods and Languages and, with Support from Citi, Launches Eligibility Screening and Texting Program and Pilot Queue Management System
New Yorkers Earning $64,000 or Less Can File for Free at More Than 200 Sites Citywide or Online
NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today kicked off the tax season with the launch of the Agency’s 15th annual tax time campaign and encouraged New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less to file for free using NYC Free Tax Prep. Commissioner Salas also announced the Agency’s continued expansion of NYC Free Tax Prep with the addition of services in neighborhoods and languages previously underserved, as well as an eligibility screening and texting program and a pilot queue management system. The announcement was made at Chhaya Community Development Corporation in Jackson Heights, one of the new neighborhoods served with multiple new languages.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Consumer Affairs Release Study on Improving Access to Affordable Housing Opportunities
Agencies Create New Guide on Steps to Take to Apply for Affordable Housing and Putting Together a Strong Application
NEW YORK, NY—Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced the release of a study, Improving Access to Affordable Housing Opportunities, that explores the experience of affordable housing applicants and recommends ways to further support applicants through an outreach and education strategy that incorporates financial empowerment services. Based on the initial findings of the study, the agencies also released a new guide, Ready, Set, Apply: Getting Ready for Affordable Housing in NYC (Spanish) to help New Yorkers best prepare for and navigate the housing application process. This project is part of the City’s OneNYC commitment to raise New Yorkers out of poverty and, specifically, to improve the fairness and efficiency of the allocation of affordable housing, a key goal of the Mayor’s Housing New York plan.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Menin and NYC Kids Rise Announce Queens Public School District to Pilot the First NYC Child Savings Account Program, Helping Thousands of Students Save for College
New savings initiative will give participating families the opportunity to create a long-term savings plan and make higher education more achievable for NYC public school students
NEW YORK, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin, Chair of the newly formed charitable nonprofit organization NYC Kids RISE, the Gray Foundation’s Mindy and Jon Gray, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that School District 30 in Queens – encompassing Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunter’s Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside – will launch NYC’s Child Savings Account initiative in the fall, helping thousands of New York City public school children save for college.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Consumer Alert: Department of Consumer Affairs and New York City Taxpayer Advocate Warn New Yorkers about Tax Refund Delays and Paid Preparers Who Promise "Express" or "Anticipation" Refunds
City Encourages New Yorkers Earning $64,000 or Less to File for Free with NYC Free Tax Prep
NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas and New York City Taxpayer Advocate Eunkyong Choi today issued a warning to New Yorkers about predatory tax preparer tactics, in particular advertising for and selling “express refund advances” or “refund transfers.” The announcement was made at the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, which is one of the City’s NYC Free Tax Prep sites and also an NYC Financial Empowerment Center that provides free, one-on-one financial counseling.