Law Faculty Articles

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    The Journey of a Teacher
    (2007) Gilgoff, Julie
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    Opportunity To Purchase Policies: Preserving the Affordability of Manufactured Home Communities
    (2023-09-02) Gilgoff, Julie
    “Manufactured homes,” otherwise known as “mobile homes,” are one of the last vestiges of truly affordable housing in the United States. With funding drying up for government-subsidized rental programs, manufactured homes are an attractive form of naturally occurring affordable housing that enable low-income communities to attain homeownership an build equity. Manufactured home owners are simultaneously owners and renters. Although they own their homes, they rent the land underneath, and remain vulnerable to eviction. Manufactured homes are no longer mobile, and once the structure is placed on a lot and hooked up to plumbing, it is nearly impossible to move. Many residents of manufactured housing communities live on fixed-incomes and cannot afford the rent spikes that are now commonplace when park ownership switches from individual landlord to corporate ownership. When rent increases, many tenants have no choice but to abandon their homes. Landlords do not experience a loss of rental income because they can find a replacement tenant willing to live in the abandoned home. Opportunity to Purchase (OTP) policies hold the potential to stop this cycle. OTP policies require park owners to provide residents notice when they intend to sell the park. Landlords must allow tenants to make a bid, and in some states, are required to accept the residents’ bid on the park if tenants are able to match the best and final offer. OTP policies must be swiftly adopted, but advocates and policymakers remain fearful of legal challenges under the Takings Clause. Two lower court rulings have held that OTP policies take private property without just compensation because of the policy’s infringement of the owner’s right to dispose or sell the property to a party of their choosing. The “essentialist” rationale of these and other courts, upholding a single property right as fundamental, and therefore impenetrable, is fundamentally flawed. At a time when an essentialist application of the Fifth Amendment threatens any policy that challenges the status quo, a more integrated view of property rights must be utilized by courts to safeguard OTP and other policies from takings challenges.
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    Land Redistribution in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2022) Gilgoff, Julie
    As the United States begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a glaring need to redefine property law. Many who are concerned about the looming eviction and homelessness crisis are calling for policies that preserve "naturally occurring affordable housing" before they are sold to private developers and converted to market rate rentals. This Article explores policies that preserve affordable housing and redistribute surplus vacant properties to those in need. Property theories that justify government-sponsored land redistribution assert that redistribution is necessary when the property system fails to provide a meaningful opportunity for the majority to own and enjoy adequate housing. In the midst of an unprecedented surge of homelessness that is sure to follow the lifting of eviction moratoria, this Article posits that self-help measures such as urban squatting should be tolerated in the absence of policies that achieve redistributive results. Historical examples of the legislature intervening to create redistributive policies, and to support squatter movements that defy property law, help support the conclusion that radical property reform is justified at this unique juncture, just as it was at various times since the founding of the United States.
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    Disaggregation of Public Health Data by Race & Ethnicity: A Legal Handbook
    (Network for Public Health Law, 2022-12) Hoss, Aila; Murphy, Stephen; Sanchez, Emely; Waggoner, Carrie
    This handbook addresses the role of law in collecting and disseminating public health data disaggregated by race and ethnicity for public health practitioners and attorneys across state, Tribal, and local governments. It is intended to assist practitioners and attorneys with framing and navigating the various legal and non-legal issues around disaggregated public health data. Data disaggregation is the breakdown and categorization of large sets of data by certain data elements, such as race and ethnicity.