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LPE Originals

The Re-Risking State: The Limits of Property Insurance in Florida

In Florida, insurers increasingly rely on external capital to prepare for the possibility of high loss climate events. Sophisticated financial tools such as insurance-linked securities provide a temporary solution to growing climate risk in coastal regions, but in the long run, they do not address the fundamental causes of the insurability crisis.

LPE Originals

How Universities Exploit the Tax-Exempt Status of Campus Land

Over the past few decades, universities have become some of the largest employers, real estate holders, health care providers, and even policing agents in cities and towns across the country. How did these educational institutions come to exert such power over their communities? One under-appreciated factor is the monetization of “non-profit” campus land.

LPE Originals

The Unavoidable Consequences of Being Human

Next month, the Supreme Court will decide whether it is constitutional for cities to punish unsheltered people for sleeping outside, even when the city fails to provide any safe alternative. Yet, no matter how the court rules, homeless people will still face significant threats from cities.

LPE Originals

Why Labor Unions Should Join the Housing Fight

Every union has reason to address the high cost of housing, which diverts wage raises into profits for landlords, acts as a structural constraint on labor actions, and generally makes life worse for its members. And as UNITE HERE Local 11 has demonstrated, unions are well-positioned to address the problem: from spearheading local tenant ordinances to putting creative housing demands on the bargaining table, unions can lead the fight for affordable housing.

LPE Originals

Emancipatory Horizons in Tenant Organizing

Earlier this year, a landlord presented a group of Kansas City tenants with the following choice: renew their leases at triple the rent or move. But rather than accept these terms, the tenants came together and declared “we won’t go.” This rejection of the options presented to them, originally a reflection of their desperation, soon became an expression of their power.

LPE Originals

Early Edition: (More of) the Best New LPE and LPE-Adjacent Scholarship

Some people head to the pumpkin patch. Others drink from the unholy fountain of the pumpkin spice latte. But here at the Blog, our favorite autumnal activity is decidedly less gourd-based: we scour the internet for the most exciting forthcoming LPE and LPE-adjacent articles. Covering tech, labor, housing, the administrative state, criminal justice, family law, religious freedom, finance, legal theory, and so much more, this scouting report is not to be missed.

LPE Originals

Why Should Tenant Unions Look to Labor Law?

With tenant organizing on the rise across the United States, legal scholars have been drawn to the idea that tenant unions, backed by the right legislative framework, could serve a function akin to labor unions. But labor and tenancy serve different functions for capitalism. Housing is a commodity that tenants consume rather than produce, so tenants would be better served by universal protections, such as price controls and possessory rights, than by the right to good faith negotiation.

LPE Originals

A Wagner Act for Tenant Unions

One often overlooked reason for the current rental housing crisis is the imbalance in bargaining power between landlords and tenants. To address this imbalance, Duncan Kennedy, Karl Klare, and Michael Turk argue that we must empower tenant organizing and sketch the architecture of a legislative package that would entitle tenants to organize into unions with specified rights, powers, and protections against retaliation.

LPE Originals

Early Edition: (Some of) the Best New LPE and LPE-Adjacent Scholarship

With the spring submission season nearly in the books, and our Twitter feeds abuzz with placement announcements, the LPE Blog highlights some of the most exciting forthcoming LPE and LPE-adjacent articles. Covering tech, care, labor, criminal justice, religious freedom, money and banking, property, the administrative state, and so much more, this scouting report is not to be missed.

LPE Originals

Rural and Racialized: How Property Law Perpetuates Racial Disparities

Research on racial disparities tends to focus on the urban, constructing an important story of race-based segregation and inequality that takes place on the city block or the suburban cul-de-sac. But with nearly all farmland in America (98%) owned by white people, these same racial dynamics are just as important to contemporary generational wealth disparities for rural people. It is thus critical to understand not only how property law has historically constructed these patterns of racial difference but also the role that property law continues to play in maintaining these disparities.

LPE Originals

When the Public University Is the Corporate Landlord

This past month, the University of California announced a $4.5 billion investment in the Blackstone Real Estate Investment Trust. By partnering with one of the largest private landlords in the US, the University is directly contributing to and profiting from housing scarcity and tenant disempowerment. It is also betraying its public mission. As students squeeze into overcrowded dorms, or sleep in vans, tents, and closets, the hour has come for the UC to use its massive capacity to help solve the housing crisis, rather than prolong it.

LPE Originals

Property Commodification as a Municipal Strategy, Property Tax Reform as an Imperative

Hyper-commodified property – imbued with value by public infrastructure, developed at its “highest and best use” from an income generation perspective, and then taxed – is in theory a boon for municipal governments. In reality, urban fiscal and land use policies become caught up in cycles of price appreciation and rent-seeking. To reverse this spiral, municipal leaders must both reform currently regressive property taxation regimes and implement tax policies that expressly curb rent-seeking and speculation.