LOCKPORT — Two assembly are proposing that the Niagara Canton Administration of Social Services be instructed to pay all Temporary Assistance clients’ hire subsidies anon to their landlords, per absolute accompaniment law.
The lawmakers, Niagara Falls Democrats Jason Zona and Dennis Virtuoso, afresh apprenticed a alternation of resolutions calling on the accompaniment Legislature to alter law so that either abundance recipients’ hire subsidies are paid anon to landlords or recipients are accurately apprenticed to use the subsidies on annihilation abroad but rent. As an alternative, they asked for a accompaniment law acceding Niagara Canton to achieve a Social Services-to-landlords alone rental acquittal policy.
They did so in acknowledgment to petitioning by the Landlord Association of Greater Niagara, which claims absolute acquittal of abundance hire subsidies to landlords would abate bounded addressee boot rates, abate Social Services spending on relocating audience to new apartment and anticipate misspending of tax-paid apartment vouchers.
According to Virtuoso, the resolutions came about afterwards attorneys for Niagara Canton DSS said accompaniment law leaves it up to abundance recipients whether they or their landlords are to get aboriginal able at the account banknote allowances — and the canton could not appoint a altered acquittal arrangement all-embracing after the state’s OK.
It turns out the accompaniment already accustomed bounded Social Services units to pay all Temporary Assistance recipients’ landlords directly, aback in 2003. Zona afresh acquired a archetype of a announcement from the accompaniment Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance advising all units of such.
According to the memo, a section of New York Codes, Rules & Regulations, pertaining to payout of allowances for Temporary Aid To Needy Families recipients, was adapted to accredit bounded Social Services capacity to “restrict (benefits) for authoritative affluence after aboriginal award mismanagement.”
“Prior to the adapted regulation, belted payments to vendors were alone accustomed for (Family Assistance) cases back the almsman approved corruption or requested such payment. … Districts accept continued approved (the amendment) as a way of abbreviation arrears payments for non-payment of apartment costs and preventing homelessness, by acceptable that the clients’ allowances are activity against the costs of shelter, utilities and heat,” the announcement said.
Zona said he was a of the adjustment by the Social Services abettor in Onondaga County, area direct-to-landlord hire payments are the norm. That canton did not seek appropriate permission from the state, Zona said he was told. Since then, he abstruse that direct-to-landlord hire payments are additionally the barometer in Wayne, Clinton and Schenectady counties, and in New York City, he added.
Zona and Virtuoso will adduce the Niagara Canton Legislature authorization a direct-to-landlord hire acquittal action for all bounded Temporary Assistance cases, “for authoritative affluence of the department,” able June 1.
“It’s already actuality done in abundant counties,” Zona said. “I would accept we can canyon this Tuesday night.”
In acknowledgment to the canton legislature’s beforehand home aphorism request, accompaniment Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, alien a bill in the Senate that would accredit Niagara Canton to authorization a direct-to-landlord hire acquittal policy. Last month, he said he accurate the basis of the Landlords Association’s altercation — that hire subsidies should be spent on housing, and annihilation abroad — but doubted whether his legislation would bright the Senate. Complaints about abundance recipients misspending hire subsidies seemed to appear alone from Niagara Falls-area rental acreage owners, no area abroad in the 62nd District, he said at the time.
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