Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to eliminate security deposits in New York City

During today’s State of the City address, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about his administration’s continued commitment to finding solutions that combat the housing affordability crisis affecting millions of New Yorkers across all five boroughs. The Mayor announced his intention to pursue the elimination of security deposits for some apartments in order to empower New Yorkers during a time where the cost of living continues to rise.

Over the past year, Rhino has worked closely with the Mayor’s Office and the City Council to advance policies that make renting easier and more affordable for all New Yorkers.

In July of 2019, we offered testimony before the New York City Council outlining our perspective on common-sense measures that can deliver immediate impact for renters. Capping cash security deposits at one month’s rent does little to help cost-burdened New Yorkers. 300,000 households rent a new apartment every year and 35% of renters say high upfront costs ruin their chances of securing a rental.

We’ve engaged in open discourse with members of the New York City Council, including Council Member Keith Powers and the Office of Speaker Corey Johnson to discuss how Rhino’s program has provided value to New Yorkers of all income levels and economic circumstances. We’ve also shared the mechanics of how Rhino works with leaders from the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. Conversations with this group further affirmed the viability of low-cost insurance as a security deposit replacement.

Rhino offers every property owner the same protection as a traditional deposit while decreasing upfront costs for renters.

We applaud Mayor de Blasio’s advocacy for common-sense solutions that create opportunity for renters. Mayor de Blasio’s leadership has the potential to positively impact the 22 million renters that make up two-thirds of the city’s population. To date, Rhino has saved New York renters $74 million across all five boroughs.

Our engagement with elected officials goes beyond New York City. In Cincinnati, Ohio our work informed Mayor John Cranley, City Council members, and other community leaders in their passage of first-in-the-nation “Renter Choice” legislation that gives every renter the opportunity to use low-cost insurance to replace burdensome cash security deposits.

Additionally, we’re encouraged by elected officials around the country who are voicing their support for similar initiatives, and we look forward to continuing our work with leaders who make it a mission to provide renters with financial choices.

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Our mission is to give renters financial alternatives to afford the homes they want.

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