In Which the City of New York Might Get One Right

The city’s Department of Social Services, through a subordinate agency, is proposing a rule that would require those homeless residing free of charge in a city facility to save against a future in which they live in their own home.

The rule would mandate that residents deposit 30% of their earned income into a savings account that the city’s Department of Social Services would manage. Shelters residents would have access to the funds when they move into permanent housing.
“Our goal is to assist New Yorkers with saving in order to more effectively help them plan for the future and get back on their feet,” said a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services….

It’s possible to quibble over who it is that will manage those saving accounts, but the principle is eminently sound.  Beneficiaries of government welfare should earn their “benefits” and learn to stand on their own.

Of course, this is of a piece with requiring other welfare recipients to get a job, get training for a job, or provide a measure of community service, though, so expect the Left to raise a hue and cry over the unfairness of this proposal, too.

Oh, wait….

Councilman Steven T Levin, a Democrat who chairs of the council’s Committee on General Welfare, questioned the efficacy of the rule.
“It’s really looking at the wrong issue,” he said. “The idea of people having a savings account, that’s not one of the things that needs to happen in order to end the homelessness crisis in New York City.”

He added:

What’s really needed is for us to be very aggressive on our subsidized-housing options upon leaving shelter[.]

He wants more “rental assistance vouchers,” more subsidies—more entrapping handouts, instead of liberating help to escape from welfare.  He does natter on about helping residents consolidate or reduce their existing debts, which would be useful also, but he presents these as alternatives; he doesn’t want them done in addition to the savings accounts.

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