Category Archives: housing

News and Politics: “Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire”

News and Politics: Alec MacGilles, Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire, N.Y. Times, May 23, 2017.

Upcoming Conference: “Housing Not Handcuffs: National Forum on the Human Right to Housing”

Upcoming Conference: “Housing Not Handcuffs: National Forum on the Human Right to Housing” organized by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, June 6-7, 2017.

News Coverage: “Section 8 Vouchers Help The Poor — But Only If Housing Is Available”

News Coverage: NPR, “Section 8 Vouchers Help The Poor — But Only If Housing Is Available,” May 10, 2017.

News Coverage: “How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality”

News Coverage: Matthew Desmond, How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality, N.Y. Times Magazine, May 9, 2017.

New Report: “Set Up to Fail – Rapid Re-Housing in the District of Columbia”

New Report: Max Tipping, Set Up to Fail – Rapid Re-Housing in the District of Columbia (Wash. Legal Clinic for the Homeless, 2017).  Washington Post news coverage of the report here.

Baltimore Sun Series on Rent Court

Dismissed: Tenants lose, landlords win in Baltimore’s Rent Court – April 26

Baltimore officials want fixes, not fines, from landlords – April 26

Rent Court solutions slowly emerge – April 27

Leveling the playing field in Rent Court – April 30

Officials want to end Baltimore rent court disparities – May 1

See also the Public Justice Center’s 2015 report Justice Diverted: How Renters are Processed in Baltimore City Rent Court.

-Thanks to the Public Justice Center for the heads up!

Article: Now is the Time: Challenging Resegregation and Displacement in the Age of Hypergentrification

Article: Bethany Y. Li, Now is the Time: Challenging Resegregation and Displacement in the Age of Hypergentrification, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 1189 (2016).

Gentrification is reaching a tipping point of resegregating urban space in global cities like New York and San Francisco, often spurred by seemingly neutral government policies. The displacement resulting from gentrification forces low-income people from their homes into areas of concentrated poverty. Low-income communities consequently lose space, place, social capital, and cultural wealth that residents and small businesses have spent decades building up. This Article argues that communities at this tipping point must integrate litigation strategies directly aimed at stemming the adverse impacts of gentrification. Community organizing is integral to antidisplacement efforts, but litigation—and its injunctive powers—should play a larger role in protecting residents in hypergentrified neighborhoods. Using a rezoning that spurred gentrification in New York City’s Chinatown and Lower East Side as a case study, this Article considers how the Fair Housing Act, state constitutions, and a new vision of property law could counter the negative and often racially discriminatory effects of gentrification on low-income communities.

Article: Spaces for Sharing: Micro Units Amid the Shift from Ownership to Access

Article: John Infranca, Spaces for Sharing: Micro Units Amid the Shift from Ownership to Access, 43 Fordham Urb. L.J. (forthcoming).

This article, written for the Fordham Urban Law Journal’s symposium entitled Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy, explores the interaction between the sharing or peer-to-peer economy and new forms of housing, particularly micro-units. Certain components of the sharing economy, such as car sharing and co-working, rely on sufficient demand, typically produced by residents within close proximity to an asset-hub. Trade in the idle capacity of privately-owned goods frequently depends upon potential users sufficiently nearby to render sharing convenient. Land use regulations that permit development of micro-units may increase density to levels that better support a sharing economy infrastructure. The sharing economy is also frequently invoked to explain consumer demand for such units – as potential residents choose to forego space and rely on shared resources. Developers have sought to make micro-units more attractive to potential residents by providing access, sometimes on-site, to car and bicycle sharing. Such resources also may ease worries of neighbors concerned about increased density and some local governments have begun to consider the provision of sharing economy infrastructure in the land use approval process. In addition, certain new forms of residential development more expressly incorporate a culture of sharing and at times explicitly identify as a component of the sharing economy.

This article sketches out some of the theoretical and practical implications of the relationship between micro-units and housing more generally and the sharing economy. Even as many micro-unit residents embrace the sharing economy to complement their small living spaces, these units provide residents with an alternative to perhaps the simplest form of contemporary property sharing – living with roommates. They represent a turn away from certain informal sharing of property (kitchen items and food, living room furniture, music and book collections) towards more formal sharing through the peer-to-peer economy. The new exchanges of personal property facilitated by the sharing economy thereby simultaneously enable the increased privatization of an individual’s residence.

As the sharing economy reshapes cities it is also changing the types of housing demanded by urban residents. This article suggests that as cities revise existing regulations to respond to both the growing demand for micro-units and the expanding role of the sharing economy in urban areas, they should more carefully consider the potential synergies between these phenomena.

News Coverage of Supreme Court’s decision in Bank of America v. Miami

Here: New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald (AP), and the decision itself is here.

New Report: “Miami and the State of Low- and Middle-Income Housing”

New Report: Diana Elliot et al., “Miami and the State of Low- and Middle-Income Housing” (Urban Institute 2017).