Governance New York City, Housing
June 19th, 2023 2 Minute Read Amicus Brief by Ilya Shapiro

Amicus Brief: Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York

A wide and cross-ideological coalition of stakeholders has challenged New York City’s Rent Stabilization Law—better known as “rent control”—under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. After a couple of bad decisions by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in two separate but related cases, two petitions ask the Supreme Court to take up the following issues: (1) whether a law that prohibits owners from terminating a tenancy at the end of a fixed lease term, except on grounds outside the owner’s control, constitutes a physical taking; and (2) whether allegations that such a law conscripts private property for use as public-housing stock, and thereby substantially reduces its value, state a regulatory takings claim.

A group called the Community Housing Improvement Program filed the first petition, and MI has joined the Cato Institute on an amicus brief in support (building on previous briefs that Cato filed while I was there). We argue that this case presents the opportunity to clarify the important property right “to exclude others,” that there’s now a split among federal courts about whether rent control is indeed a physical taking, and that the Court here has the chance to reaffirm the basic constitutional principle that a subset of property owners can’t be forced to bear costs that should rightfully be borne by the public.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by DNY59/iStock


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