Mar 07, 2023 Press Release

Robin Hood Releases Memo Outlining Measures to Fight Poverty Through New York’s FY24 Budget

Recommendations Focus on Reducing Child Poverty, Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis, Supporting Workers’ Economic Mobility, and Improving Child Care Accessibility, Affordability, and Quality — Read the Full Memo HERE

New York, NY – March 7, 2023 – As state budget negotiations begin to intensify, Robin Hood, the largest philanthropy focused on fighting poverty in New York City, today released a memo to state leaders highlighting evidence-based recommendations to fight poverty through the budget. Data from Robin Hood’s fifth Annual Poverty Tracker mentioned in the memo outlines how poverty is often a policy choice, explaining that, in 2021, government policies–including the temporarily expanded Federal Child Tax Credit–kept more than 500,000 children above the poverty line, and brought New York City’s child poverty rate to a historic low of 15%.

Experts at Robin Hood and independent researchers recommend that the State makes key investments in four distinct policy areas to lift thousands of New Yorkers out of poverty: cutting child poverty in half by strengthening and expanding the Empire State Child Tax Credit, addressing the affordable housing crisis, supporting workers’ economic mobility, and improving child care accessibility, affordability, and quality.

“The data make clear: poverty is a policy choice. Government programs can have an immense poverty-fighting impact — which means our leaders in Albany have the power to create a pathway out of poverty for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Robin Hood CEO Richard Buery, Jr. “This budget season, we are urging the Governor and the Legislature to follow the data and embrace evidence-based investments that will allow thousands of the most vulnerable families in New York to live lives of opportunity.”

Poverty-fighting recommendations in the memo include:

  • Cutting Child Poverty in Half: Robin Hood’s Annual Poverty Tracker found that intervention policies at the federal and state level, including the temporarily expanded Federal Child Tax Credit, prevented hundreds of thousands of children from living in poverty. Robin Hood recommends that New York State restructures and invests in the Empire State Child Credit (ESCC), which could lift more than 112,000 children out of poverty. Specifically, the State should expand the eligibility to children under four years old, eliminate the earnings requirement and phase-in, and increase the credit amount to $1,000 per child. This step is crucial to meet the goal of NY State’s Child Poverty Reduction Act, which mandates a plan to cut the state’s child poverty rate in half within 10 years.
  • Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis: There are currently more than 70,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. Governor Hochul has shown bold leadership with the Housing Compact proposal in addressing the supply side challenges of the affordable housing shortage. Now, her leadership must be coupled with tenant side protections and supports – such as the Housing Access Voucher Program and rental arrears assistance for NYCHA tenants – to prevent a wave of evictions. Robin Hood recommends that New York State establish the Housing Access Voucher Program (S568A Kavanagh/A4021 Rosenthal) and Prioritize NYCHA tenants for remaining and future Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding and provide funds to cover NYCHA arrears.
  • Supporting Workers: To ensure an equitable economic recovery and prevent thousands of New Yorkers from slipping deeper into poverty, New York must prioritize low income workers. Robin Hood recommends that the final enacted budget include policies to increase workers’ economic mobility, like: raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation and labor productivity; expanding the outdated Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) Programs (S2821A Ramos/A4053A Solages); creating the Unemployment Bridge Program (S3192 Ramos/A9037 Reyes) to provide $1,200 per month to workers not covered under federal unemployment benefits; and ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers (A1710 Gonzalez-Rojas or via an Executive Order from the Governor).
  • Improving Child Care Accessibility, Affordability, and Quality: Access to quality child care is critical for children, families, and the state’s economic recovery. Recognizing this, Governor Hochul and the legislature made a tremendous, multi-billion-dollar investment in child care last year. Measures to invest in the child care workforce and easing administrative burdens to make it easier for families to secure their child care vouchers is critical to ensure the success of the investment. Robin Hood recommends that the FY24 Enacted Budget creates a state workforce bonus fund and a robust compensation strategy that creates a pathway towards permanent pay raises for child care workers and streamlines enrollment in the state’s child care assistance program by implementing categorical and presumptive eligibility (A4099 Clark/S4667 Brouk).

Additionally, Robin Hood recommends that the State of New York lift the regional cap on New York City Charter Schools, revive “Zombie” Charters, and provide parity in funding. Charter schools in New York are providing families — and especially families of color — the opportunity for a world class education, with students currently outperforming their peers in district schools. They are expected to do more with less, and have been for far too long. Robin Hood supports the Governor’s charter school plan and recommends that the budget eliminate the regional cap on the number of charters that may be issued in New York City and update the per pupil tuition formula through a comparative analysis of New York City’s funding for district and charter schools.

You can read the full memo here.


About Robin Hood

This year Robin Hood celebrates its 35th year of funding, supporting, and connecting New York’s most impactful community organizations at the forefront in the battle against poverty. We’re NYC’s largest local poverty-fighting philanthropy and since 1988, we’ve invested more than $3 billion to elevate and fuel the permanent escape of New Yorkers from poverty. Last year, through grantmaking with 300+ community partners, we created pathways to opportunities out of poverty for more than 325,000 New Yorkers, and through our strategic partnerships on child care, child poverty, jobs, and living wages, we are scaling impact at a population level for the more than 1.4 million New Yorkers living in poverty. At Robin Hood, we believe your starting point in life should not define where you end up. To learn more about our work and impact, follow us on Twitter @RobinHoodNYC or go to