Before lawmakers passed sweeping rent reform legislation in 2019, New York City renters moving to a new apartment paid a hefty lump sum, typically including an application fee, broker fee, and a security deposit. With the new law limiting application fees to $20 (and broker fees next on the chopping block), city officials are now looking to make it even easier to move into a new home. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation last week issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) seeking companies that would provide alternatives to paying a security deposit all at once at city-financed affordable properties.
A package of legislation being introduced in the City Council on Wednesday aims to make renting in New York City more affordable. The bills, drafted by Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera, would limit broker fees and security deposits each to one month’s rent, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bills come after a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer released last summer found that New Yorkers paid over $507 million in security deposits in 2016.
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In addition to having some of the highest rents in the country, New York City requires renters to provide a substantial chunk of money up front to cover an apartment’s security deposit. According to a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New Yorkers forked over more than $507 million for security deposits over the course of 2016. Stringer is calling for an overhaul of the city’s security deposit system, which he says has created a financial barrier that has intensified the city’s affordable housing crisis. “For too long, the deck has been stacked against New York’s working-class renters but we’re taking a step forward to reimagine how the housing system works in our City,” Stringer said in a press release.