Researching Subsidized Housing Law

Maryland Statutes

In Maryland, the official source of the state statutes is the Annotated Code of Maryland. Statutes can be found in the Maryland Housing and Community Development section and Real Property section (tables of content available here). All Maryland law libraries and many Maryland public libraries (see SAILOR, Maryland's Online Public Information Network sponsored by Maryland public libraries) carry the Annotated Code of Maryland in print.

Federal Statutes

The official source of the federal statutes is the United States Code. All Maryland law libraries and many Maryland public libraries carry the United States Code in print. Many of the same libraries also carry one of the unofficial versions, the United States Code Annotated and the United States Code Service. It is a good idea to do your federal statute research in one of these unofficial print versions of the Code, because they are both more up-to-date than the official Code, and because they include summaries of cases that interpret each statute. There are at least two important federal housing-related statutes that you might want to look up in print, and we provide quick links to them here:

Maryland Regulations

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development offers assistance to persons developing or improving housing. It also provides rental assistance programs such as Section 8. The Department's regulations are published officially in Title 5 of COMAR (the Code of Maryland Administrative Regulations), the print version of which is available in all Maryland law libraries and many Maryland public libraries. The Department's regulations are also available electronically on the Division of State Documents home page.

Federal Regulations

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers grants, loans, and other assistance to persons developing or improving low-income housing. The Department's regulations are published officially in Title 24 of CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations), the print version of which is available in all Maryland law libraries and many Maryland public libraries. The Department's regulations are also available electronically on the GPO Access home page.

Forms

Resources for Additional Help

The resources below may help you to understand subsidized housing law. Keep in mind, however, that books that explain the law are no substitute for the law itself. You should always verify what the authors of these books say about the law by looking up the statutes, cases, and regulations the books cite. Some of these books may also include sample forms.

Cases

There are several ways to begin research into case law. One way is to find the statutes that apply to your situation in the Annotated Code of Maryland, the United States Code Annotated, or the United States Code Service then look at the case summaries that follow them. You can find additional cases by reading books that explain the law and noting the cases they cite. Another method of finding cases is to search the Maryland Digest, which is a subject index to Maryland case law, or the Federal Practice Digest, which is a subject index to federal case law. The Digests arrange summaries of published cases by legal issue using something called the "topic and key number" system. Once you know the topic and key number combination that represents your issue, look up that topic and key number in the Digest and you should find a list of summaries of cases that discuss your issue. Each summary includes a citation to the full text of a case. Topics and key numbers that are likely to lead to cases about subsidized housing law include United States k. 82(3) (in the Federal Practice Digest) and Municipal Corporations k. 717.5 (in the Maryland Digest).

Source: 

This section developed by Sara Kelley, Librarian, Georgetown University Law Library, updated by State Law Library staff.
Is this legal advice?

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