NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rhino, a leading insurtech startup aimed at cutting housing costs, announced today a new policy plan to lower housing costs in America by $45 billion over the next two years and drive solutions for the housing affordability crisis that has confronted policymakers and impacted nearly 109 million Americans.
Both younger Americans who have come of age following the 2008 financial crisis and hardworking families living paycheck to paycheck are challenged by high up-front housing costs in the rental market. Rhino’s policy proposal, developed based on market feedback and in collaboration with a bipartisan assortment of city, state, and federal government officials, will offer Americans an affordable, manageable alternative to burdensome cash security deposits that lock up their limited savings.
Rhino’s policy framework offers a common sense alternative to the status quo, urging lawmakers to require property owners to offer alternatives to traditional cash security deposit requirements.
Solutions covered in the policy proposal include allowing residents to cover security deposit payments in installments, or utilizing market-proven, low-cost insurance offerings. The proposal also calls on lawmakers to encourage property owners to create a more flexible environment for renters by allowing renters to roll deposits over when they move, eliminating the frequently seen circumstance in which renters are forced to provide a deposit for a new rental unit prior to being refunded their current one.
To accelerate the national dialogue toward action, Rhino will be sharing the proposal with 2020 Presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle. A link to the full policy proposal can be found here.
“Grappling with rising housing costs is a fact of life for Americans of all regions and economic circumstances. The policy proposal we are offering addresses this crisis in a common sense, meaningful, and easily-enactable fashion. I urge policymakers at all levels to join us in advancing this win-win solution to put thousands of dollars of much-needed cash into renters’ pockets,” said Paraag Sarva, CEO and co-founder of Rhino.
Government officials have voiced support for principles included in Rhino’s policy proposal:
“Security deposits and hefty moving fees should not be a barrier to finding stable housing for families living on the margins. It’s exciting to see new businesses working to find innovative new ways to help families overcome this hurdle.” - Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond, Virginia
“In my opinion, insurance alternatives to cash deposits like Rhino offer a 'win-win' scenario for both landlords and tenants. It gives tenants the option of renting an apartment without having to deposit much of their savings into escrow accounts, and it gives landlords the ability to expand their potential tenant pool while maintaining, or in some instances improving, their level of security.” - Council Member Jeffrey Rodriguez, Miami Lakes, Florida
"In light of the affordability crisis in cities across our country, it is critical for government and business leaders to work together to deliver choices and solutions to ease burdens on hardworking people. Low-cost insurance as an alternative to traditional cash security deposit offers an opportunity for significant cost savings to renters while being responsive to economic burdens such as healthcare costs and student loan debt." - City Council Member Derek Green, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Many New Yorkers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, making it difficult to afford the high cost of moving in New York City. New Yorkers welcome solutions that reduce the expensive upfront costs and provide more choice and flexibility for renting.” - City Council Member Keith Powers, New York City
Rhino is already partnering directly with property owners to offer renters an affordable alternative to the costly status quo. Rhino’s product replaces traditional cash security deposits with low cost insurance, starting as low as $3 per month. Rhino is now serving renters in over 300,000 rental units across the country, and has saved renters $60 million in 2019 alone.
With over 40 percent of Americans counting less than $400 in savings to cover emergencies, cash security deposits of a month’s rent or more prove to be prohibitively burdensome for too many. Instead of locking up precious dollars during the lease term, Rhino’s proposal allows money to be used to pay down student loans, healthcare bills, serve as emergency savings, and offer a path to increased financial empowerment.
“Rhino’s proposal offers a framework by which the public and private sectors can collaborate to deliver much-needed results for home renters, one of the largest demographic groups in America. Business leaders and officials of all political persuasions owe it to Americans to embrace rational, quickly-attainable solutions that will make an immediate economic development impact in cities and states nationwide,” said Ankur Jain, co-founder and chairman of Rhino and CEO of Kairos.
Rhino also announced it has secured $21 Million in a successful Series A funding round, led by Kairos and Lakestar, that will be used to further scale and develop its offerings to more renters everywhere in America.
Rhino was founded with a goal to empower and improve the lives of renters. Our mission is to build products and services that give renters a more affordable way to live in the homes they want. Today, Rhino offers hundreds of thousands of renters a choice to reduce their upfront move-in costs, providing flexibility and financial freedom.