Niagara Gazette


February 10, 2013

EDITORIAL: Rent funds are for landlords


Niagara Gazette — Members of the county’s Community Services Committee are expected to consider the proposals during a meeting Monday evening. 

We encourage them to consider the resolutions carefully and approve whatever measure or measures necessary to address what appears to be a questionable and, indeed costly, loophole. Also, we call upon state lawmakers representing Niagara County to join the effort to make sure any proposed changes in state law are considered in Albany. We also strongly recommend that any adjustments involve language aimed at protecting the rights of tenants, some of whom have been forced to withhold rent in order to compel rental property owners to make necessary infrastructure repairs and improvements. 

While we appreciate the need for individuals who may be struggling financially to enjoy the type of pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with managing one’s own money, we can’t help but agree with members of the landlord association who note that shelter allowance assistance isn’t being made available to the recipient’s to use as they please. 

It’s rent money and should be used to pay the rent each month. 

When it isn’t, landlords lose out on monthly revenue they ill afford in the Falls, tenants often find themselves being evicted at a cost to those same landlords and, yes, the county is obligated to find new places for those qualifying for rental assistance to live, adding to the overall cost for the community as a whole. 

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