New York City has launched the MyCity Portal, which aims to help New Yorkers easily check eligibility, apply for, and track city services and benefits. Users will also be able to securely save their information and documentation for future applications as they apply for child care.
“New Yorkers are busy 24/7 so today we are making it easier for New Yorkers to access city services – 24/7,” said Mayor Adams. “The newly launched MyCity online portal will allow New Yorkers to go online, easily search, apply for, and track city services and benefits right from their smartphones or computers – and we’re starting by spotlighting child care. For the first time, families who need help paying for child care can apply in one place, with one application. We are using the power of technology to reduce the bureaucracy and red tape in our government, to help New Yorkers get the services their taxes pay for, and to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the working people of this city.”
In a press release, the mayor’s office said the portal will “rebuild city services from the ground up to meet the modern needs of New Yorkers.” Adding that anyone with an internet connection on their phone or computer will be able to log onto mycity.nyc.gov using their IDNYC login or by using an existing email address to authenticate their account. For government agencies, MyCity will act as a centralized data repository that enables greater information sharing across government agencies to achieve faster results for New Yorkers.
The portal’s launch is the result of collaboration across city agencies, including the Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI), the Administration for Children Services (ACS), the Department of Education (DOE), the New York City Department of Social Services, and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. To ensure that the portal was user-friendly, the city conducted months of user-testing sessions where New Yorkers unaffiliated with the project shared invaluable feedback.
The city touted one main feature included in the portal launch, a new streamlined childcare assistance application. The new application consolidates a complicated paper application used by multiple government agencies (DOE and ACS) into a single online form that is expected to serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers annually and “dramatically reduce the often confusing and time-consuming elements of the paper application.”
The city explained that once an application is submitted, agency staff will review the application and provide status updates to applicants through MyCity. Families will also be able to self-screen to determine whether they may be eligible for assistance before they even apply. Reducing the need for paper applications — the majority of which were rejected because of missing required documents — will further streamline and improve the application process.
Mayor Adams says this is just the first phase of the portal, a second phase will add additional capabilities to help job seekers and small business owners. The mayor’s office did note that the first phase does direct New Yorkers to existing resources for small business owners and job seekers, as well as to the city’s benefits screener. However, the city will expand on those capabilities later this year.