Report cover for 'Demanding Rights in an On-Demand Economy: Key Findings from Year One of NYC's Freelance Isn't Free Act' featuring black and white photo of someone's hand distributing a Protect NYC's Freelance Workers brochure

Demanding Rights in an On-Demand Economy: Key Findings from Year One of NYC's Freelance Isn't Free Act

The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the first law of its kind in the country, took effect on May 15, 2017 – giving freelance workers the legal right to written contracts, timely payment, and freedom from retaliation. In its first year, DCA received 299 inquiries about the law and 264 complaints from freelancers. The most common allegations were for payment violations (98 percent), including late payment and non-payment for services. To date, DCA has assisted freelancers in recovering $254,866 in lost wages. DCA will use the report’s findings to strengthen outreach and education of this critical workplace law to workers and hiring parties alike.
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Lifting up Paid Care Work: Year One of New York City's Paid Care Division

DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) houses the Paid Care Division, the only governmental office in the United States charged with raising job standards in care industries. As the Division concludes its first year, this report provides an analysis of what it has learned, an overview of its accomplishments, and a roadmap for action it plans to take in the years to come. Specifically, the report elaborates on the close partnerships the Division has fostered with City agencies, academic institutions, and organizing and advocacy groups. These partnerships have culminated in the adoption of model standards for paid care jobs.
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Making Paid Care Work Visible: Findings from Focus Groups with New York City Home Care Aides, Nannies, and House Cleaners

In partnership with Ruth Milkman of The City University of New York, DCA released the “Making Paid Care Work Visible” report, which, using focus group and survey results, documents the experiences of New York City’s home-based paid care workers in their own words, offering a bottom-up perspective that is often lacking in public policy debates. It makes visible a world of work that is hidden in the household, far from public view, and offers direct access to the concerns of workers whose voices are rarely heard by policymakers or by the wider public.
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How Neighborhoods Help New Yorkers Get Ahead: Findings from the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health

DCA released the “How Neighborhoods Help New Yorkers Get Ahead” report, which defines and creates a framework for understanding and addressing how neighborhoods influence the financial health of individual residents. Over the past year, with the support of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Citi Foundation, DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) has undertaken the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health project to engage with New Yorkers at the community level to understand what factors influence a neighborhood’s financial health. OFE engaged hundreds of East Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood residents and stakeholders in interviews, focus groups, and interactive community workshops to learn more about neighborhood conditions and the ways those conditions support or limit individual financial health.
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Report cover Student Loan Borrowing Across NYC Neighborhoods

Student Loan Borrowing Across NYC Neighborhoods

DCA's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced the findings of Student Loan Borrowing Across NYC Neighborhoods (the Report), the first neighborhood-level examination of student loan outcomes. The Report’s findings show that although New Yorkers’ delinquency and default rates are slightly lower than the national average, certain NYC neighborhoods are experiencing significantly higher rates of delinquency and default despite the fact that their residents have low average loan balances. These higher levels of student debt delinquency and default also tended to be among older borrowers and those in lower- income neighborhoods.
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Blue report cover for The State of Workers' Rights in New York City

The State of Workers’ Rights in New York City

DCA's Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) released a report “The State of Workers’ Rights in New York City,” which details emerging gaps in labor protections and offers policy solutions to these growing concerns. The report summarizes the testimony of 110 workers given during a public hearing in April 2017 that was convened by DCA, in collaboration with the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). Through their testimony, workers articulated the many challenges and concerns facing immigrant, paid care, and contingent workers. Their personal narratives reveal a pattern of egregious workplace violations affecting a diverse range of industries, demonstrating that wage theft, harassment, and discrimination are not limited to low-wage industries, but increasingly pose threats in traditionally higher-paying jobs as well, including writers and academics.
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Report cover Working in NYC: Results from the 2017 Empire State Poll

Working in NYC: Results from the 2017 Empire State Poll

In early 2017, DCA's Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) and the Worker Institute at Cornell partnered to add a series of questions to the Empire State Poll, a representative phone survey of 800 New York State residents conducted annually by the Cornell Survey Research Institute. The survey questions developed by OLPS and the Worker Institute addressed a range of issues related to inequality, working conditions, and the role of city and local government in protecting immigrants and defending worker rights. The poll results provide useful insight not only into existing problems faced by New York City workers but also the kind of response that New Yorkers would like to see from their City as the national political environment shifts.
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Leveraging Financial Empowerment to Support Employee-Owned Businesses: Lessons and Tools for Cooperative Developers

DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment and Make the Road New York, with support from Citi Community Development, partnered with The ICA Group and Dr. Joyce Moy of the City University of New York to explore how employee ownership models can best support worker-owners to improve their financial health and build assets. The report and tools featured are meant to support cooperative developers, employee-owners, and managers in employee-owned businesses in implementing financial empowerment programs inside their workplaces.
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Used and Abused by the Used Car Industry: Predatory Lending in the Secondhand Auto Industry

Department of Consumer Affairs and Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr. held a public hearing in October 2016 to explore predatory lending in the used car industry. This report provides an overview of the public hearing that includes findings and recommendations
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Improving Access to Affordable Housing Opportunities

Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) released a study on 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, available in English and Spanish, to help New Yorkers best prepare for and navigate the housing application process.
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Download Ready, Set, Apply: Getting Ready for Affordable Housing in NYC guide in English or Español (Spanish)
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Ventanilla de Asesoría Financiera: Program Insights for the Field

DCA, Consulate General of Mexico, and Citi released a report on the first year of the Ventanilla de Asesoría Financiera (Financial Empowerment Window), outlining the program's origin, design, implementation, successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
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Read press release celebrating the second anniversary of the Ventanilla

Report cover for A Study of Gender Pricing in New York City

A Study of Gender Pricing in New York City

DCA conducted its first-ever study of the gender pricing of goods in New York City across multiple industries. The industries studied for this report include: toys and accessories, children’s clothing, adult clothing, personal care products, and home health care products for seniors. This study reflects an average consumer lifecycle, from baby to senior products, providing a glimpse into the experiences of consumers of all ages.
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DCA Releases First Municipal Study on Mobile Technology & Money Management

In partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and with the support of Capital One and MetLife Foundation, the DCA Office of Financial Empowerment commissioned RTI International to conduct this study to analyze the needs, barriers, and opportunities to increase financial inclusion through mobile financial services use. Findings show that New York City is a unique marketplace for mobile banking and money management innovation.
Read New York City Mobile Services Study
View interactive tool depicting data
View infographic highlighting key findings
Interested in exploring mobile financial services for your city? Download toolkit
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New Yorkers' Use of Banks and Their Perception of Financial Security

To better understand New Yorkers’ use of banks and sense of financial health and develop more effective future programming and products, DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) commissioned the Urban Institute to prepare studies and develop an accompanying interactive map depicting the data. The research shows 1.14 million households in NYC are unbanked or underbanked; and more than half of New Yorkers don't have adequate savings for an emergency.
Read Where Are the Unbanked and Underbanked in New York City?
Read How Do New Yorkers Perceive Their Financial Security?
View interactive map

NYC's Paid Sick Leave Law: First Year Milestones

New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law) created the legal right to sick leave for 3.4 million private and nonprofit sector workers. For one third of those workers—nearly 1.2 million—the Paid Sick Leave Law (PSL) marked the first time they had access to this vital workplace benefit. This report commemorates the anniversary of the implementation of PSL on April 1, 2014 and focuses on first year milestones.
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Building Financial Counseling into Social Service Delivery: Research and Implementation Findings for Social Service Programs

This report details the work of our Capacity Building Initiative, supported by the Citi Foundation, which funded five nonprofit organizations to provide financial counseling to their clients - who included formerly incarcerated adults, foster care youth, young adult interns, young fathers, and workforce development clients. Initial findings indicate that individuals in workforce development programs who received financial counseling achieved better outcomes than comparison group clients who did not receive financial counseling.
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Virtual VITA: Expanding Free Tax Preparation

The research brief details New York City's experience integrating Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) at two NYC Head Start programs in 2013. The Virtual VITA model uses technology to connect a filer with an off-site VITA tax preparer and has enormous potential to expand free tax preparation services at incredibly low cost.
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NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment: Progress Report, 2010-2013

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.
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Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs

The report series builds the case that fully integrating financial empowerment and asset building strategies into public programs will lead to more effective service delivery, improving outcomes while potentially saving money.

Immigrant Financial Services Study

Released November 2013, the Study is one of the first field research initiatives in New York City to look specifically at the financial needs and practices of recent immigrants. The full report is a comprehensive overview of the data, analysis, and key findings.
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New York City Financial Empowerment Conference: Showcasing Partner Innovations in the Field

Prepared for the October 2013 NYC Financial Empowerment Conference, the compendium includes papers from over 20 partner organizations detailing the innovative ways they are helping to financially empower New Yorkers.
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SaveUSA is a tax time matched savings program designed to encourage short-term savings among tax filers with low to moderate incomes. This brief documents Year 1 of the national replication of the program in 2011, with a focus on key implementation lessons for policymakers, advocates, and funders to highlight tax time savings in their work and provide a framework for further replication.
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Citywide Financial Services Study

The Study quantified for the first time the number of unbanked adults in New York City (825,000).

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment: Progress Report on the First Three Years, 2006-2009

The report describes the multitude of financial empowerment innovations, strategies, and approaches OFE has implemented thus far—and the national implications for its work, which include building the new field of municipal financial empowerment and founding the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition.
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$aveNYC Account Innovation in Asset Building: Research Brief and Update

The $aveNYC Account program is a special savings account to help low income New Yorkers make the most of their tax refund by building savings through a privately funded City matching program. DCA's research explores key asset-building questions.

Neighborhood Financial Services Study

The Study examines residents' attitudes and behaviors related to basic banking services, savings, and credit, and the role of financial education in two New York City neighborhoods: Jamaica, Queens and Melrose, Bronx. The purpose of the study is to understand better the banking dynamics in low-income neighborhoods to identify public and private opportunities for long-term, high-impact financial empowerment initiatives.