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Establishing the Whie House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable

September 28, 2015 at 3:43 PM ET by Director Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice

This is cross-posted on the Department of Justice's blog. See the original post here

This week Pennsylvania lost one of our strongest advocates for access to quality health care services for the poor, Yvette Long.  Lavalle Miller-Wilson, Executive Director at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project wrote a tribute to Yvette which is included below.

The location and design of homes vary in many ways.  However, what most people agree upon is that a home should be a safe haven – a place where someone feels comfortable, alone or living with family, secure that their most basic needs will be met.  Home is where you should be able to be yourself and enjoy family and friends, even if you may have a disability that limits you. 

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act, 42 USCS § 3601 et seq., allows claims based upon a theory of disparate impact upon protected classes. Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___ (2015). This is a long awaited ruling, as over the past forty years, the Circuit Courts of Appeals had addressed the issue and found that fair housing cases were not limited to cases where the plaintiff could prove intentional discrimination (disparate treatment).

You do not want to miss this very worthwhile and fun event!

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that residential leases are considered consumer transactions. That doesn’t seem like a big deal to us today, but back then it was a big shift in real estate law. Real estate law developed from English common law to define the relationship between landlords and tenants. Before the industrial revolution, most of those tenants were tenant farmers, and the relationship included money and crops to the landlord in return for the right to farm the land for a period of years.