South Carolina lawmaker calls for ‘renter stimulus’ plan

Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A South Carolina lawmaker is joining a national bipartisan group of elected officials to create a $45 billion renter stimulus plan.

Rep. Marvin Pendarvis says there are billions of dollars locked up in security deposits around the country. The goal with this plan would be to create ordinances on a local level that would put that money back into the pockets of renters.

Renters who decide to claim the stimulus would be required to replace the cash deposit they would usually give to landlords with an alternative like a low-cost deposit insurance.

“Instead of paying $1500 dollars to the landlord, let me keep that $1500 dollars and let me pay you this insurance premium that I can pay in a smaller amount per month,” Pendarvis said. “That will allow me to have more money in my pocket to take care of necessities and will protect you the landlord because you got something against a loss in some kind of default.”

Jaymes McCloud is the CEO OF J.H.W Enterprises, a property management company is Charleston. He says there are some holes in the proposed plan that may not protect both parties.

“The security deposit is a way for tenant and the landlord to have some level of protection during the term of that lease so it just to get rid of that, to dismantle, and then offer it back to the tenant is just unorthodox,” McCloud said. “I think they should really look at this initiative and really dissect it and ensure it’s going to benefit both the landlord and the tenant.”

Similar versions of the plan have been enacted in cities like Atlanta and Cincinnati.

Rep. Pendarvis says he plans to have conversations with North Charleston city council members, as well as elected officials in surrounding cities.

The group of city and state elected officials in support of this plan released a letter which can be read here.

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