Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Rutland suggested the direct-pay arrangement would make landlords less “reluctant” to let space to welfare recipients, while Sacco pointedly noted that rent collection woes are not unique to Niagara Falls rental property owners, as local Republican leaders including state Sen. George Maziarz have suggested.
“It’s a problem here in Lockport too, as well as other places,” Sacco asserted.
Lawmakers in the Republican-led majority caucus all voted for the Virtuoso-Zona resolution with one amendment. Majority Leader Richard Updegrove, R-Lockport, asked for language to be inserted directing Social Services to not set up direct-pay arrangements with rental property owners who are also elected Niagara County officials.
Only one legislator, Virtuoso, is known to be a rental property owner.
Updegrove said the proviso was not aimed at Virtuoso personally, it’s intended to avoid any appearance of legislation benefiting lawmakers.
Virtuoso said he had no objections, as he doesn’t rent property to Temporary Assistance recipients anyway.