DEPOSIT Act Introduced to Cover Renters’ Security Deposit and Moving Costs

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), along with Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Alex Padilla (D-CA), introduced the “Delivering Essential Protection, Opportunity, and Security for Tenants (DEPOSIT) Act” (S.1814) on June 6. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives (H.R.1087) in February. The “DEPOSIT Act” would allow Section 8 and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) programs to cover security deposit assistance and moving costs for people using Housing Choice Vouchers. NLIHC endorsed the bill.

The “DEPOSIT Act” would amend the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and HOME Investment Partnerships programs to allow the programs to cover families’ security deposits and moving expenses. The bill would establish a revolving fund to provide security deposit assistance by requiring untapped security deposits at the end of a lease term to be returned to the agency providing the HCV (public housing agency) or HOME funds (participating jurisdiction). Additionally, the bill would require HUD to study the impact of “alternatives to security deposits,” insurance-like products requiring renters to pay a monthly fee to a third-party company.

“We have a serious housing crisis in New Mexico and across the country. It’s impacting everyone, at all income levels and in nearly every community. The DEPOSIT Act tackles one piece of this puzzle by focusing on the costs that come from moving into a new home,” said Senator Heinrich in a press statement. “That includes security deposits - one of the biggest barriers low-income renters face when moving into a new apartment, often required on top of two months’ rent. This legislation unlocks support to help renters overcome this barrier so their families can settle into a safe place to call home and build a foundation for a better future.”

“Housing is a human right. But in our community in the Bay Area, in California, and across the country, renters face huge barriers to secure housing and make monthly rent – with security deposits being one of the largest. With housing costs and the general cost of living skyrocketing, there should be relief for people to ensure they have shelter. I’m excited to work with Senator Heinrich to build bicameral support to fund this important program because homelessness knows no bounds. It’s time the federal government get off the sidelines and work to combat America’s housing crisis,” said Representative Lee in a press statement.

Read Senator Heinrich’s press release and find a fact sheet on the bill here:

Read Representative Lee’s press release here:

More information about Housing Choice Vouchers is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2023 Advocates’ Guide.

More information about the HOME program is on page 5-1 of NLIHC’s 2023 Advocates’ Guide.