Adams’ plan combines cash assistance, childcare and housing support all through one application via his MyCity platform
New York, NY — Leading mayoral candidate Eric Adams unveiled his “People’s Plan” today, combining his NYC AID cash assistance initiative, UCare childcare proposal, and his Housing Voucher+ program, all linked through one common application via Adams’ MyCity online platform.
You can read the plan here.
“New York City has always been a place of immense wealth and persistent poverty — COVID has just widened an already huge inequality gap. That is because most New Yorkers do not have a firm foundation on which to build their wealth — and the government services and programs that are meant to provide that foundation are either inadequate or inefficiently managed,” said Brooklyn Borough President Adams said. “The next mayor and City Council will inherit billions of dollars in new funds from the federal and State governments that — if used wisely and morally — can fundamentally change our city. That is why as mayor I will launch my “People’s Plan”, combining my NYC AID, Housing Voucher+, and UCare universal childcare programs — all united by my MyCity platform to better deliver services and benefits efficiently and effectively to New Yorkers who need them.”
“This unprecedented effort will revolutionize the City’s approach to caring for New Yorkers in need by providing assistance through automatic monthly cash assistance, free or subsidized childcare, housing vouchers that actually pay the rent, and more efficient delivery of City services,” Adams added.
To receive the cash, credits, services, and other assistance struggling New Yorkers need, under the People’s Plan they will simply fill out one application and the City will do the rest. With the right set of data points, the City will be able to determine what each New Yorker needs, and then use its resources to assist them, whether that means putting cash into a bank account or placing their child at a local daycare center.
THE PEOPLE’S PLAN: THREE KEYS TO EQUALITY AND PROSPERITY LINKED THROUGH ONE PLATFORM
Children without adequate childcare are much less likely to succeed, and are much more likely to be Black and Brown. It is a moral imperative that we provide universal childcare for every parent who cannot afford it, starting with children ages 0 to 3. This will close a massive gap in care for the youngest New Yorkers at the most critical point of their brain development, and free up parents — especially women of color — to power our economy and excel in their own careers. Under my UCare program, we will significantly reduce the cost of childcare by removing the biggest cost to childcare providers: space. We will do this by prioritizing space in City-owned buildings for childcare, offering density bonuses to residential building developers who guarantee permanently free or low rent to providers, and introducing a tax break to office building owners and other private building owners who create free space for providers — savings which will be required to be passed on to parents.
We will also reduce costs for expensive government leases by an estimated 25 percent over the next five years — saving New York City taxpayers up to $250 million over that period with potential additional outyear savings — and redirecting those cost savings to UCare. With existing City and State subsidies and our new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) match through NYC AID, plus the lower cost of space for childcare providers, we estimate that the total annual City commitment to be between $50-100 million initially, as the program starts with those in greatest need, and expands over time to meet demand and sustainably grow capacity.
New Yorkers are in crisis because of COVID-19 — and they need immediate, serious financial assistance to get through. To get New Yorkers the money they need right now, we will launch the NYC AID (Advanced Income Deployment) initiative to get struggling individuals and families their Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) in advanced monthly payments, while also substantially increasing the amounts of the credits to deliver the high level of aid needed during our financial crisis. Under our plan, a New York City family with two children on the edge of poverty earning $30,000 a year would receive approximately $3,000 annually, or about $250 a month from a boosted City EITC program.
Currently, that same family would receive about $250 for the entire year from those same credits. Increasing these credits for struggling New Yorkers would cost approximately $1 billion. New costs for administrative fees would be low; Colorado estimated that the cost per participant in an advanced income program would be about $4.50. Our administration projects we will save or create $5-6.5 billion in cost savings from 3-5 percent cuts across all City agencies, attrition of non-essential City workers, and a modest increase to the City income tax for ultra-millionaires; these cost savings, which will increase year-over-year as headcount drops and further agency savings are found, will cover the expense of NYC AID.
New Yorkers on the brink of homelessness and in shelters need far greater assistance than is available now to stay in their apartments or find new ones that they can afford. One way we will accomplish this is with my Housing Voucher+ program, increasing the value of the City FHEPS vouchers to the federal market value so they are adequate to help pay the rent in our city. This will increase the amount available per month nearly $500 to approximately $2,500 a month for a three-bedroom apartment and about $250 more a month to about $1,950 a month on one- and two-bedroom units.
Estimates for similar proposals have valued this effort at $236 million over five years. When the cost of a person in the shelter system is $124 a day and $196 per day for a family, increasing the value of vouchers is common-sense governing. It’s also the right thing to do.
All of these programs can help struggling New Yorkers considerably in addition to other City benefits but not if they’re run inefficiently and New Yorkers do not have easy access to them. That is why at the center of the People’s Plan is my MyCity platform, a single online portal for all City services. Imagine typing only one number into a secure app or Web site and instantly receiving everything you qualify for without any paperwork, as well as constant up-to-date information that will help you protect you and your family. In addition to NYC AID, UCare, and Housing Voucher+, you can also instantly have access to a bank account, discounted food, and healthcare.
With the technology now available, there is no reason New York City cannot do that for every New Yorker. This is a 311 for the digital age, and so much more. MyCity will pay for itself in increased government efficiency and deployment of social services.