New York City presents anti-poverty plan

2015-04-24 12:29

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New York - New York City aims to lift 800 000 people out of poverty within a decade in its OneNYC programme — a blueprint for making the city more resilient and equitable.

City administration officials on Thursday outlined Mayor Bill de Blasio's goal of pulling nearly 10% of New York's 8.5 million residents out of poverty or near poverty, with a sweeping plan that will utilise a potpourri of proposals, not all of them yet well-defined, and a significant reliance on a steep minimum wage increase that is far from guaranteed.

Among those plans: new living wage legislation, redesigned job training programmes aimed at preparing workers for higher-paying jobs, and an expanded free pre-school programme that is estimated to save parents $10 000 a year in child care costs.

More than 45% of New York city residents live at or near the poverty line, which is defined by the Centre for Economic Opportunity as $31 156 for a family of four.

City Hall reports that about 100 000 people already have been lifted out of poverty by a series of administration efforts enacted since de Blasio took office in January 2014. The mayor's office also announced a massive affordable housing programme — de Blasio pledged to provide 200 000 units by 2024 — that would create construction jobs and reduce skyrocketing housing costs.

"This is a holistic approach and the right approach," said Dr Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University who consulted on the plan. "The 800 000 number may seem big, but this is a realistic and manageable goal."

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