Policy Reports and Briefs

The policy, advocacy and research unit of FPWA executes a focused policy agenda aimed at building a city of equal opportunity that strengthens vulnerable New Yorkers.

Read our Policy Briefs.

Our Approach

FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to economic opportunity and upward mobility for low-income communities.

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A prominent New York presence for nearly 100 years, FPWA has long served New York City’s social service system, providing support grants to help low-income groups meet basic needs while advocating for fair public policies on behalf of people in need and the agencies that serve them. FPWA’s member network of 170 human service and faith-based organizations reaches some 1.5 million people in New York’s underserved communities each year.


Rooted in community and the corridors of power, FPWA seeks to:



  1. Dismantle systemic barriers and harmful policies that undermine upward mobility;

  2. Drive policy and systems change to enhance economic opportunity for low-income groups;

  3. Strengthen nonprofits and the communities they serve by informing and inspiring leadership.


Our work is guided by three pillars:

  1. Creating Ground Breaking Change
    Advocating for policy changes that improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers.
  2. Supporting Nonprofits From the Ground Up
    Strengthening the capacity of the human services sector to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.
  3. Strengthening Individuals and Families at the Ground Level
    Ensuring targeted financial support to help thousands of New Yorkers meet basic needs.

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We work closely with our network of member agencies, faith partners, coalitions, allies, and strategic collaborations to influence policy, legislation, and budget outcomes to address the needs of struggling New Yorkers. We engage with policymakers at the city, state and federal level to effect systemic change that positively impacts children, families, and individuals across generations.  We issue action alerts, policy briefs, research reports, and advocacy agendas to help shape the opinions of the public, the media, and decision makers as well as to mobilize our member agencies, faith partners and allies.  We coordinate policy forums, advocacy actions, and campaigns to provide opportunities for these organizations and the communities they serve to educate decision makers on solutions to address economic inequity. 


Our policy/advocacy work is unique because it is formed by our team of policy experts and supported by member agencies, faith partners, and community members.


Policy Briefs

Pushed to the Precipice
Pushed to the Precipice

 

Measuring Poverty and the True Cost of Living in the U.S.

The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is a fundamentally unsound method government uses to assess the means and needs of individuals and families today. It’s widely acknowledged to be an antiquated and woefully unrealistic tool for gauging need and deciding who qualifies for help.

This policy brief states why the current federal poverty measurement is outdated and highlights the importance of having a more accurate measurement for the true cost of living.

Pushed to the Precipice: How Benefits Cliffs and Financial Gaps Undermine the Safety Net for New Yorkers

One step forward and two steps back is the phenomenon that too many working families across our city, state, and nation experience when they access safety net benefits.

FPWA’s newest investigative report explores the barriers working families face when striving for financial stability. It also provides recommendations to reduce the impact that an abrupt benefit cutoff can have on New York State families.

You can find out what inspired this research here.

 

 

The Self Sufficiency Standard for New York

The Self Sufficiency Standard provides critical data on the income needed for working-age families in New York to cover their most basic life needs, including childcare but also food, housing, transportation and much more.

This report is a much needed and anticipated update of ten-year-old data that can be used by New York State, local policymakers, and legislators to calculate how much income is needed for genuine economic security.

Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline Report

If you are poor in New York City – especially if you are a low-income person of color – there’s an increased likelihood that you will be drawn into the criminal justice system. And once justice-involved, climbing out of poverty becomes harder. A mechanism is already in place, however, that can help interrupt this pipeline –human service organizations.

FPWA Analysis of President Trump’s FY 2020 Budget Proposal

Trump’s budget proposal puts New York City’s older adults at risk by cutting the Department for the Aging’s (DFTA) $77.4 million in federal funding by more than a third, and by further decimating direct federal assistance, such as housing, heating and food assistance, and healthcare.

FPWA Federal Funds Tracker Introductory Report

The FPWA Federal Funds Tracker reveals that, following a decade of austerity and misplaced priorities, all federal grants to New York City have fallen by nearly $2 billion since FY 2010 after adjusting for inflation. This includes more than $300 million in social service grants, as well as funding for education, transportation, and environmental protection. By tracking grants for individual agencies, including the Administration of Children’s Services, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Department for the Aging, the Federal Funds Tracker shines a light on the nearly $75 million lost in funding to, among others, effective poverty fighting tools, programs to support the needs of our children and older adults, and grants to assist New Yorkers who cannot meet their basic needs.

With One Voice

The culmination of a year-long project in partnership with our member organizations to develop a shared vision for advancing economic equity in New York City. We examined the systems that maintain economic inequity, policy advancements made over the past four years that move New York City towards equity, and key areas where transformational policy change still is required to build an economically equitable city.

Undervalued & Underpaid

FPWA, the Human Services Council and the Fiscal Policy Institute co-authored a newly released workforce report highlighting how New York State shortchanges nonprofit human services providers and their workforce.

Voice’s of New York’s Human Services Sector

FPWA, the Human Services Council and the Fiscal Policy Institute have come together to co-author a report highlighting the need for increased investment in the sector to ensure nonprofits can continue to effectively serve communities across New York State.