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In December 2017, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment released a white paper entitled How Neighborhoods Help New Yorkers Get Ahead. The report shared the work and findings of the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health, a project made possible with support from the Citi Foundation, that engaged hundreds of city residents and stakeholders to create a definition and framework for understanding and addressing how neighborhoods influence the financial health of individual residents.

The Neighborhood Financial Health model represents a new approach to financial well-being that explicitly recognizes how place and community, including access to services such as affordable food and housing, affect individuals’ financial health and opportunities. It also represents the first efforts by the Office of Financial Empowerment to thoroughly integrate community wealth building strategies into its programs and policy work.

The approach seeks to address asset and wealth building opportunities at a systemic level, and contribute to a stronger, more inclusive city. New York Asset Funders Network, Citi, and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment met on Wednesday, October 16 at 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET to learn more about the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health project. The program featured Gregory Schiefelbein, Citi Community Development NY Tri-State Director, Nicole Perry, Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Financial Empowerment, and Sarah Ludwig, Founder and Co-Director of the New Economy Project, and included insights and reflections on their work during the first phase of the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health project.

Together, we explored the following:

  • Learning and insights to inform financial health at the community level
  • What levers philanthropy can invest in to influence positive change in financial well-being at the community level
  • Next steps in this approach to Neighborhood Financial Health, and community wealth building more broadly
  • Community wealth building more broadly