Mayor Scott Vetoes “Security Deposit Alternatives” Bill

A widely-discussed Baltimore City bill seeking to create alternatives to traditional security deposits was vetoed by Mayor Brandon Scott – his first use of the veto pen.

The legislation, passed by a 11-2 vote of the City Council in April, would have created additional pathways for potential tenants to gain access to rental housing, short of a traditional “money down” security deposit. The controversial offering of surety bonds for that purpose, criticized by some advocates as predatory, earned the Mayor’s final disapproval decision.

The Baltimore Sun covered the veto decision, and the uncertain road ahead, for the proposal:

Supporters of the bill had hoped that alternatives to traditional security deposits could remove barriers to stable housing options for many lower-income residents. Similar legislation has been taken up in a variety of urban areas across the country.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties