Citi Community Development and The Poses Family Foundation Support New Initiative Aimed at Building the Financial Security of People with Disabilities

Monday, January 29, 2018

Citi Community Development and The Poses Family Foundation Support New Initiative Aimed at Building the Financial Security of People with Disabilities

Citi Community Development, the City of New York, and National Disability Institute (NDI) announced the launch of Empowered Cities, a new national initiative enabling municipalities to expand financial empowerment and economic inclusion for people living with disabilities and their families. Also announced was EmpoweredNYC, a collaboration with the City of New York, specifically the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), focused on enabling New Yorkers with disabilities across the five boroughs to build their financial security. EmpoweredNYC is the first local program of Empowered Cities.

Empowered Cities was launched with $2 million in support from Citi Community Development, $1 million of which is being used to fund EmpoweredNYC.Through the Empowered Cities program, NDI will hold national convenings with community stakeholders; conduct trainings for service providers and financial counselors, nonprofits, and municipal staff; produce a catalog of new publications and training curricula; and deliver national program management. Building on the EmpoweredNYC model, NDI will inform, document, and build field knowledge about how to deploy tailored, citywide financial inclusion models to meet specific needs of residents with disabilities that can be implanted in cities across the country.

More than 50 million people live with a disability in the U.S., and 25 percent of households include a child or an adult with a disability. According to research by NDI, even the most financially stable individuals with disabilities have difficulty managing household finances and navigating the complexities of benefits, insurance, medical costs, and long-term supports while still preparing for retirement. Compounding these challenges, more than 46 percent of working-age households with disabilities are either unbanked or underbanked – greatly limiting their ability to prepare for the financial volatility that is associated with living with a disability. 

“National Disability Institute is enthusiastic about today’s commitment by Citi Community Development and is honored to be a key partner to advance a better economic future for people with disabilities nationwide,” said Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute. “With Citi’s and NYC’s leadership, we will begin by testing new strategies in New York City that can improve financial capability for people with disabilities and enable and empower their future financial decision making. The New York City efforts will help inform a national initiative that enlists municipal and state government, community nonprofit organizations, financial institutions and other key stakeholders that can design programs, products, and services that are scalable and sustainable.” 

“People with disabilities and their families often have to make critical and complex financial decisions almost daily, navigating insurance, health services, benefits, education and employment decisions, which makes financial planning and security challenging,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “The national Empowered Cities initiative, together with the local EmpoweredNYC partnership, represent an important and collaborative first step toward supporting municipalities, financial counselors and nonprofit service providers with specialized training and resources to ensure that they are better positioned to serve the needs of all residents in our communities.” 

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, nearly one million people in New York City live with a disability, a group comprising 12 percent of the city’s population. They are twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities, 30 percent and 16 percent, respectively. 

Co-developed and supported by founding corporate partner Citi Community Development, EmpoweredNYC is a collaboration between MOPD, OFE, National Disability Institute, The Poses Family Foundation, and Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City to test, adopt and promote new solutions throughout New York City. DCA, which operates the City’s NYC Financial Empowerment Centers that provide free, professional financial counseling, will oversee the program management of EmpoweredNYC, as well as design and implement a new training for financial counselors, along with a new approach to financial counseling intended to reach more individuals and families with disabilities. The City will use the insights gained to better reach the community and tailor its services...

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