RHINO is the Rental Housing Information Network in Ohio

By United States Senate Historical Office - http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B000356 Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. - Transferred by roseohioresident), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17170654

Today in Ohio history

March 1, 1803 -- Ohio becomes 17th state of the Union (*sort of) On February 19, 1803, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution. But Congress had not passed a formal resolution admitting Ohio as the 17th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required. The oversight was discovered in 1953, as Ohio began preparations for celebrating its sesquicentennial. Ohio congressman from Cleveland, George H. Bender, introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened.

Sep. 28, 2023.WTVG. Neighborhood Nuisance: Owner of cockroach-infested home speaks out "The owner of a cockroach-infested home on Hayden Street is sharing her side of the story, after neighbors reached out to 13 Action News saying the infestation was spreading to their homes. Following our story, local government is taking action too. 'Now, I’ve got the health department and the City of Toledo all over the house. I no longer have a job, so I can’t even pay to get a dumpster out there. Now, I’m going to lose the house for sure,' the homeowner, who wants to remain anonymous said. 'I just want my side of the story heard.' She says she was planning on either selling or remodeling the house, but she doesn’t have the time or the money right now. Regardless, the City of Toledo and Lucas County Health Department are ordering her to take care of the mess and infestation. 'I’m doing what I can, but the way it’s looking, the city is going to take it,' she said.

Next thing you know she'll be claiming to be the heir of Joe the Plumber or JR Majewski.

RHINO's Six Steps Project is an effort to focus grassroots attention on looking beyond incremental change. 

2025? YES, that's how deep the housing policy stagnation has become as political forces have dashed hopes for real change in the wake of the 2008 and 2020 housing crises. 

Facing a divided Congress in the 2023-2024 session, transformative change is unlikely in the short term. However laying the foundations for transformative changes following the 2024 elections, can make a difference.

What just happened? Because Congress was unprepared for the Pandemic Recession of 2020, well-meaning solutions like eviction moratoriums, emergency rental assistance, child tax credits and american rescue plan among others) stopped the bleeding, but failed to change the system of bandaid tinkering with US Housing policy (ie. the five legged stool).

In fact, stimulus payments likely contributed to the housing affordability crisis that put stable housing out of reach for ordinary families. as the Pandemic recession morphed into the Pandemic Inflation. All hands were on deck, but rowing in opposite directions.

Three housing related recessions in just 12 years underscores the fact that the root of this recurring cycle is a broken housing policy strategy. Todd Rungren observes "The mysterious mad man with his hand on the lever/Don't seem to never ever want to let you off"

Back in 2022, RHINO gave up on paying attention to Federal housing policy until after the 2024 elections, when, we hoped, grassroots activism in the wake of the past three housing related recessions would nudge Federal policymakers towards more progressive solutions to the US housing dilemma. 

If the New Democrat agenda is any indication, grassroots advocates (RHINOistas and others that not beholden to the FIRED industry) need to start nudging now. Begin conversationss with House and Senate candidates, their policy teams, and their influencers about what's working in your communities and how they can create Federal policies that support grassroots innovation. 

This won't bee easy right now because so much of the political oxygen is being sucked up by the 2023 ballot initiatives. Housing advocates. like the Ukrainian army, can't mount direct assaults. Focus instead on strategic inroads.

Now's the time to be aspirational. Take a leaf from Biden's plan to reduce the lead standard to "near zero". EPA has not written regulations on this, just pointed to where we need to go. Housing activists can do the same.

Read more about the Six Steps project.