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Public Benefits - Policy Related Reports

Turn up the Heat: It’s Time to Raise New York’s Shelter and Fuel Allowances
Turn up the Heat illustrates how the public assistance shelter and fuel allowances are so far out of step with the actual costs of housing and heating, they are pushing many financially fragile New Yorkers out of homes and into homelessness. Read More

Driven into Poverty: How New York's Asset Tests Keep People Poor
Empire Justice Center’s new report, “Driven into Poverty: How New York’s Asset Tests Keep People Poor” explores the need for policy change that recognizes that it’s counter-intuitive to make people who have scrimped, saved and pinched pennies for the future impoverish themselves to get the temporary help they need to make ends meet. Read More

Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability
This report provides an comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed record keeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount. Read More

Time to Leave Finger Prints Behind
Across the country, all but two states, Arizona and New York, have abandoned the costly and problematic fraud prevention tool in conjunction with the Food Stamp program. Read More

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York State 2010
This report measures the income and earnings necessary for families to be self-sufficient in every county of the state. Read More

On the Move?
A County by County Review of Welfare Transportation Policies in New York State Read More