Friday, October 3, 2008

Schwemm on Landlord Discrimination

Robert G. Schwemm (University of Kentucky) has posted Why Do Landlord Still Discriminate (and What Can Be Done About it)? on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

This Article deals with the problem of racial discrimination in rental housing in the United States and the role of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 (“FHA”) in addressing this problem. National testing studies show that the levels of rental discrimination against blacks and Hispanics have remained virtually unchanged for the past three decades, despite the FHA having had the most effective enforcement system of any of the Nation's civil rights laws for most of this time. By now, it is clear that FHA litigation has failed to put a dent in rental discrimination based on race. Something new must be tried.

This Article is an attempt to start a new conversation about this issue. Part I reviews the evidence for the ongoing nature of rental discrimination in the United States. Part II surveys the record of the legal “cure” for this problem (i.e., enforcement of the FHA), particularly in the two decades since the FHA's 1988 amendments strengthened its enforcement provisions. Part III provides an overview of the rental housing market in the United States, which shows, inter alia, that minorities make up an ever increasing portion of this market. Part IV reviews what we know – and don't know – about race discrimination in housing rentals. A lengthy concluding Part V tries to identify some lessons from other fields, such as economics and psychology, that might help guide the effort to achieve better FHA compliance in rental opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 3, 2008 in Real Estate Transactions, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kelly on Neighborhood Revitalization

James J. Kelly Jr. (University of Baltimore) has posted Refreshing the Heart of the City: Vacant Building Receivership as a Tool for Neighborhood Revitalization and Community Empowerment on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Vacant Building Receivership is a building code enforcement tool that dispossesses and forecloses on owners of vacant buildings who are unwilling or unable to bring their derelict properties into basic conformity with basic building codes. This article examines vacant building receivership as a tool for ensuring the renovation of vacant buildings and as a means by which communities can develop increased confidence in and control of residential development in their neighborhoods. After discussing the need for a vacant house strategy tailored to support mid-level urban neighborhoods, the article, in its second section, will analyze how Baltimore's vacant building receivership remedy succeeds in situations that defy resolution by more conventional means. The third section studies the implications of vacant building receivership for empowerment of community organizations to coordinate and shape local housing investment, drawing upon examples from the experiences of a particular Baltimore urban neighborhood.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 3, 2008 in Land Use, Real Estate Transactions, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Einhorn on Slavery

Robin Einhorn (UC Berkeley) has posted Slavery on SSRN.  Unfortunately, it is not a free download.  Here's the abstract:

The history of slavery cannot be separated from the history of business in the United States, especially in the context of the relationship between public power and individual property rights. This essay suggests that the American devotion to sacred property rights stems more from the vulnerability of slaveholding elites than to a political heritage of protection for the common man.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

October 1, 2008 in Property Theory, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)