Rhino Statement on the Advancement of “Renter’s Choice” Legislation by the Atlanta City Council

NEW YORK--()--Today, the Community Development and Human Services Committee of the Atlanta, Georgia City Council voted 6-0-1 to advance legislation that would offer all Atlanta renters the choice to use low-cost alternatives like Rhino’s insurance program in place of burdensome cash security deposits.

According to Brookings, more than 40% of low-and-moderate-income U.S. households have no emergency savings, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the financial strain felt by renters across the country. In order to address these unprecedented challenges, it will be crucial for city and state governments to provide financial alternatives for renters, especially in the absence of federal assistance.

In late 2019, Rhino released our Renter Choice and Flexibility Plan as a call to action for elected officials to take direct, pragmatic steps to address the financial burden that high upfront move-in costs place on renters across our country. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans of all ages grappled with rising rents, steep healthcare costs, and mountains of student loan debt. COVID-19 has only compounded these issues. Elected officials have an opportunity to rise to this occasion and provide renters with choices to dramatically lower costs and increase financial flexibility in a time of great need.

With today’s progress, Atlanta is on track to become the second city in the nation to pass Renter’s Choice legislation. Earlier this year, the city of Cincinnati, Ohio passed similar legislation to lower the cost of renting while keeping property owners protected, an action spearheaded by City Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld and Mayor John Cranley.

In Atlanta, this legislative action is being led by City Council Member Amir Farokhi with the support of Council Members Matt Westmoreland, Antonio Brown, Michael Julian Bond, Joyce Sheperd, and Carla Smith. Their work to offer financial solutions will soon be a model for elected officials across the country.

Rhino will continue its efforts to engage with city and state government officials nationwide to urge them to embrace efforts to bring choice to renters.


Jordan Stein