NewDEAL Applauds Passage of Renters Choice Legislation in Cincinnati

January 16, 2020 by Dan McCue
P.G. Sittenfeld, Nov. 21, 2019, speaking about the security deposit insurance legislation at the NewDEAL conference in Washington.

WASHINGTON – Two months ago, Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld told attendees at the NewDEAL Leaders Conference in Washington that he had a plan to remove a significant barrier to housing affordability in his city.

This week, he and his fellow city council members acted on his plan, passing the Renters Choice Bill and guaranteeing all Cincinnati renters a choice to forego traditional security deposits.

Sittenfeld’s fellow NewDEAL Leader, Mayor John Cranley, has already said he supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law.

Meanwhile, NewDEAL leaders who heard Sittenfeld speak on his bill at the November conference have vowed to spread the policy to at least eight other states.

“State and local leadership is critical to solving the biggest challenges facing Americans in today’s economy and the NewDEAL is committed to being a catalyst for the development and spread of the best policies that expand opportunity,” said NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan.

“At a time when Americans cannot count on Washington to solve their most pressing issues, Renters Choice represents the kind of innovative approach government must take to make a big change,” Bultan said.

The legislation aims to directly improve the lives of millions of Americans dealing with skyrocketing housing costs and the fact that the Federal Reserve reports 40 percent of Americans don’t have $400 to cover emergency expenses.

All Cincinnati renters will have an option in lieu of a traditional security deposit, such as low-cost insurance or a modified security deposit.

“We are proud of the leadership of Councilmember Sittenfeld as the first legislator in the nation to introduce a renters choice bill, as well as the efforts by nearly a dozen other NewDEALers who are already looking to spread this work to their communities,” Bultan said. “Housing affordability is one of the most significant obstacles to economic security, and it is exciting to play a role in a policy idea that gives renters lower-cost alternatives to cash security deposits and puts that money back in their pockets.”

NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), is a selective national network of state and local elected officials with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Mark Warner and former Governor Jack Markell.

Members of the 181-person network covering 47 states have been chosen from among more than 1500 nominations over its eight-year history and are working to enact pro-growth solutions in a diverse array of communities.

The network of rising leaders has included more than 20 who have ascended to higher office since the fall of 2018, such as four members of Congress and seven mayors who won their office for the first time in 2019.

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