Document Type



This Article explores the character of the public housing tenancy, comparing it with the common law tenancy under private lease law and evaluating the degree to which private lease law will protect the interests of low-income families if current proposals to abolish existing in-kind housing programs are adopted. Part II of this Article traces the history of federally funded housing programs and describes the various strategies employed. Part III discusses the recent changes in modern private lease law and recounts the basic rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant, which define and govern the rights of low-income families under a cash allowance program. Part IV describes the evolution of the public housing tenancy and demonstrates how its development has outpaced that of the common law tenancy. Part V explores the legal and social policy implications of dismantling the in-kind housing programs. Part VI concludes that the public housing tenancy is necessary to protect public housing tenants from victimization under private lease law.