RHINO is the Rental Housing Information Network in Ohio

Today in Ohio history

September 22, 1788 -- Losantville, Ohio (now Cincinnati) founded by land speculators Mathias Denman and Colonel Robert Patterson, and surveyor John Filson; the first settlers arrive in December.

RHINO rants... September 17, 2023

September 12, 2023. CityLab. Rising Insurance Rates Are Crushing Affordable Housing Developers "Natural disasters and crime are being blamed for property insurance hikes that are frustrating builders of much-needed new apartment buildings." Ya gotta blame high rents on something. Supply chains? Hurricanes? All the same things.

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.