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Middleton Sponsoring New Security Deposit Relief Bill

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Credit: Bruce Emmerling/Pixabay

Baltimore City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton is sponsoring a bill that would create a security deposit voucher program for renters.

The Emergency Security Deposit Relief Act follows a security deposit alternatives bill, which Middleton also sponsored. That bill met widespread criticism from housing advocates and failed to become law earlier this month.

Now, Middleton hopes her new bill will be a “solid” solution for low income renters.

“I'm pretty excited that everyone is basically on the same page with this,” she said at a committee hearing Tuesday.

Current co-sponsors of Middleton’s new bill include Councilmen Ryan Dorsey and Zeke Cohen, who voted against the Security Deposit Alternatives Bill in April.

Tisha Edwards, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success, said the bill tackled an “important” issue, but noted that Mayor Brandon Scott announced a security deposit relief fund earlier this month.

Middleton introduced the bill on June 8, before that fund was announced.

“We just hope that this legislation will be complementary to that, not duplicative,” Edwards said.

Middleton called for a work session to update the bill and determine the funding process.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.