Advertisement

NYC begins handing out prepaid debit cards to migrants in controversial program

adams migrant debit cards
adams migrant debit cards

The Adams administration launched its program to give prepaid debit cards to New York City migrants this week — two months after inking a controversial no-bid $53 million contract for the deal.

Staffers with the New Jersey company, Mobility Capital Finance, handed out eight preloaded Mastercards at the Roosevelt Hotel on Monday as part of its pilot program that will expand to 115 cards by next week, according to a City Hall spokesperson.

The one-year deal came under fire after The Post first revealed the contract was inked without a typical bidding process.

The program could be a boon for the tech start-up, giving it the potential to net $1.8 million by taking a cut of the funds loaded onto each Mastercard, according to the contract.

The administration scaled back the original plan, which would have loaded up the cards with a month’s worth of money for food and baby supplies. Cash will now need to be replenished each week.

A family with two parents and kids under five will receive about $350 a week, the spokesperson said.

The Post was unable to track down any of the migrant families who received the cards Monday. Even the staffers at the Roosevelt Hotel said they weren’t aware the cards had been handed out.

The Adams administration finally rolled out its controversial prepaid debit card program Monday. Stephen Yang
The Adams administration finally rolled out its controversial prepaid debit card program Monday. Stephen Yang

The pilot program will cover about 460 out of the 64,500 migrants in the city’s care as City Hall evaluates its success.

“This cost-saving measure will replace the city’s current system of providing non-perishable food boxes to migrant families staying in hotels, much of which is often discarded,” Adams spokesperson Kayla Mamalek said.

City Hall says the new process of getting asylum seekers fed could save up to $600,000 per month.

The pilot program will cover about 460 out of the 64,500 migrants in the city’s care as City Hall evaluates its success. Stephen Yang
The pilot program will cover about 460 out of the 64,500 migrants in the city’s care as City Hall evaluates its success. Stephen Yang

The Adams administration has said that the emergency contract was necessary to avoid delays in rolling out the cost-saving program.

Despite that, it took two months before any of the prepaid cards were handed out.

City Hall has dodged questions about the delay, only saying that the rollout was on schedule.