Tonawanda News

Local News

January 17, 2013

Stricter controls on welfare benefits urged

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The department would not encounter any problems if the state OK’d direct payment of rent vouchers to landlords, Restaino said, but added he’s not sure a direct-pay arrangement would satisfy landlords entirely. Monthly shelter allowances for the poor are typically far less than going rental rates around the county, he said. The allowance for a single adult is $174 a month. For a family of four it’s $331 a month When rent payments are higher, clients pay the balance from their monthly welfare grant.

The county legislature’s 12-member Republican-led majority caucus introduced a resolution of their own pertaining to the spending of welfare benefits this week. This one calls on the state Assembly to approve legislation that would ban the use of welfare benefit debit cards in strip clubs, liquor stores, casinos and other similar venues. Similar legislation passed in the state Senate last year but was not put up to a vote in the Assembly.

All four resolutions were referred to the legislature’s community services committee.

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