Federal legislation

A tenant, after application and qualifying for the assistance, shall receive a voucher or a certificate issued by the Housing Authority 24 C. F. R. § 982. 302(a). Afterwards, the tenant shall find an apartment and a landlord who is willing to lease the unit under the terms of the voucher. If the landlord consents to the voucher arrangement, the tenant may execute a lease agreement with the landlord.

The tenant pays thirty percent of her household income while the housing authority enters into a separate Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with the landlord where HAP pays the balance of the fair market rent agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant. The Housing and Community Development Act was meant to supplement local and state laws.

The Supreme Court avers that the federal legislation and regulation contemplate an interaction with extant local and state policies pursuant to the larger federal policy by 1) “vesting in local public housing agencies the maximum amount of responsibility in the administration of their housing programs” 24 C. F. R. § 982. 1, 2) “providing that voucher and certificate programs are administered by state or local housing agencies” in relation to Kargman v. Sullica, 552 F. 2d 2, 11 whereat, “finding federal housing legislation to be consciously interdependent with the substructure of local law relating to housing,

3) “providing that tenant’s legal capacity to enter into lease is determined by state or local law” 24 C. F. R. § 982. 3 and 4) “providing that landlord’s use of security deposit at end of tenancy is subject to state or local law” among others 24 C. F. R. § 982. 4. In other words, from the language of the federal law, the housing and rental assistance spans the breadth of the general policy of state aid.

The local and state laws are not barred from enacting specific provisions in accordance to local conditions and context. While the method of assistance must be parallel to the federal legislation, states may tailor-fit its provisions to the demands and urgency of the conditions of its locality. Whereas the Section 8 program provides leeway for the landlord to adopt selection methods of his tenants, regardless of being a voucher-holder or not, and grants him the authority to lawfully accept or refuse a tenant based on reasonable and well-informed grounds, the local N. S. J.

A. law appears to deny the voluntariness in the landlord’s decision by prohibiting any such refusal against beneficiaries of the Section 8 program. From a catena of court decisions by other states, the Supreme Court argues that while the acceptance is voluntary in nature, “it does not follow that, merely because Congress provided for voluntary participation, the States are precluded from mandating participation”( Knapp v. Eagle Property Management Corp. 54 F. 3d 1272, 1282), and that “nothing in the federal program viz.

Section 8 prevents a state from mandating participation” Commission on Human Rights v. Sullivan Assoc. , Conn. Superior Court 1998. The issues in dispute are relevant and important to the helping profession primarily because the rights of the landlord and the tenant are in contention under the manifold State interest to promote a decent home for low-income tenants. The problem lies in how to strike a balance between the rights of the entrepreneur and the citizen. It can not be gainsaid that the State has the right to disburse social subsidies to the poor.

However, this does not give illimitable license to an exercise of police power and state regulation to utterly burden the landlord in the process. The legislative intent of the federal act is to encourage cooperation between the states and the landlord to a program that addresses the growing problem of expensive housing. But as-applied, the program deters the landlord from participation because in doing so he loses most of his entrepreneurial rights and interests.

Thus, instead of achieving the results desired, it would seem that the N. S. J. A. restrains the landlord from taking part in the State aid as it burdens him and appears as a disincentive. III. Decision The Supreme Court held that the N. J. S. A. 2A:42-100 does not frustrate nor hinder the accomplishment of the objectives of the Section 8 program. It is aligned with the concomitant goals presented and advances them in fact. Thus, the statute is not superseded by the Supremacy clause of 42 U. S. C. A. and that the N. J. S. A. and its provisions are valid prohibitions against the landlord’s refusal to accept voucher payments by the respondent. As such, the Appellate Court Division ruling is affirmed.

Sarah from Law Aspect

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