Copyright (c) 2008 Howard University School of Law
Howard Law Journal
Second Annual Vinson & Elkins LLP/Howard Law Journal Symposium: Comment: "One Strike"+ Evictions in Public Housing and the Disparate Impact on Black Public Housing Tenants in Washington, D.C.
HOWARD LAW JOURNAL
52 How. L.J. 167
Lauren E. Burke*
The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that "No State shall ... deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law ..." 1 This clause is commonly referred to as the Due Process Clause 2 because in order to limit or eliminate a person's enjoyment of the constitutional guarantees of life, liberty or property, there must be due process - a legal proceeding in accordance with established rules and principles, including notice and a right to a fair trial. 3
Property is "the right to possess, use, and enjoy a determinate thing." 4 Property interests can exist in tangible items, and also in intangible items, such as an expectation of a benefit. The Supreme Court has held that in order to assert a property interest in a benefit, there must be a "legitimate claim" or "entitlement" to the benefit under state or federal law. 5 Therefore, examples of property interests recognized under the law include public education, employment, and housing. 6 The Constitution does not explicitly establish a right to housing, however, as a property interest protected by the Due Process Clause, it is recognized as a constitutional guarantee.
"Public housing" refers to a type of housing that is built, operated, and owned by a public housing agency, 7 which provides low-cost housing to the elderly, disabled, and low-income individuals and families. 8 National statistics show that as of 1995, the majority of public housing tenants were ...
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