Padilla Introduces Bill to Improve Low-Income Renters’ Access to Housing

The DEPOSIT Act would provide new federal moving costs and security deposit assistance funding to help more Californians access housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced the Delivering Essential Protection, Opportunity, and Security for Tenants (DEPOSIT) Act. This legislation would help low- and very low- income renters overcome the barrier of security deposit payments to access housing. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.-12) leads companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Too often moving costs can limit low-income renters’ ability to access dignified housing,” said Senator Padilla. “To solve California’s and the nation’s housing challenges, we need more significant federal investments to address the barriers that keep people from accessing housing. The DEPOSIT Act would help overcome these barriers by providing expanded federal resources to help cover security deposit and related moving costs for low-income renters.”

“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. “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 month’s 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, 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 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 Congresswoman Lee.

Currently, security deposit assistance programs are inconsistent across the country, with state and local housing authorities supplementing assistance with non-profits and community organizations. The DEPOSIT Act would expand federal support for essential moving costs, like security deposits, for those with a housing voucher and other low-income renters.

Senator Padilla believes that housing is a human right and recognizes the need to increase affordable housing and address the homelessness crisis facing California. He is proud to advocate for significantly increased federal funding and resources as well as champion transformative legislation, like his Housing for All Act, to significantly expand the supply of affordable housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. Earlier this year, Padilla cosponsored the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bill to authorize $1 billion annually to help local governments address homelessness.

A fact sheet on the DEPOSIT Act is available here

Full text of the DEPOSIT Act is available here.


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