CITY ANNOUNCES NEW PLAN TO HANDLE SURGE OF RESIDENTS APPLYING FOR ELM CITY RESIDENT CARD
(7/27/2007) NEW HAVEN- As of the fourth day of the implementation of the Elm City Resident Card program, 150 cards have been issued while another 1,000 applications are being reviewed for processing. Included in this number are 400 residents who lined-up in City Hall Thursday night for vouchers to expedite their process. Trained city staff and volunteers took in applications and verified all documents from the group of 400 who arrived together led by Elm City Congregations Organized (ECCO).
The 1,000 applications waiting to be processed does not include the nearly 500 residents who stood in line today for their chance to apply for the card. The group of 500, 100 of which had to be turned away because the office wouldn’t be able to serve everyone today, began lining up outside of City Hall as early as 5 a.m. for the second day in a row.
In response to the large numbers of residents standing for hours in City Hall everyday, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. developed a plan to meet the needs of interested residents. Beginning Monday, July 30, the Office of New Haven Residents will remain open from 9am through 7pm until further notice. Office hours were originally supposed to run from 9am until 2pm.
“This new schedule will remain as long as there continues to be a community response of this magnitude,” said DeStefano. “Our City should feel great about what we’re accomplishing here. We’ve had terrific support from all of our partners and are really pleased with the numbers of people, from all walks of life, who have come out to apply for their card. With such a large response, we’re doing what we have to in order to be efficient and effective with this program.”
Many applicants in the last four days have expressed concerns that this is a temporary program or that they have a limited window of time in which to apply for the card. “This is a myth that we need to dispel,” said DeStefano. “This program is here to stay. If you didn’t make it this week or don’t make it next week, you can come back next month; we’ll be here.”
The Office of New Haven Residents has found that on a daily basis, anywhere from 25-50 percent of all applicants are sent home and asked to come back because they are missing either or both of the identification and residency requirements. In order to qualify for a card, residents must show valid government issued photo identification (from the United States or other nations) including a passport, driver’s license, consular identification and other official identification documents. Applicants must also demonstrate residency in the City by bringing in two utility bills, a pay stub, tax statements, rental/purchase agreements, original documents from health/social service agencies or other approved documents. For a complete listing of all acceptable documents please visit: www.cityofnewhaven.com where applications can also be downloaded.
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