Researching Subsidized Housing Law
In Maryland, the official source for 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. 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.
The official source for 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 print versions, the United States Code Annotated and the United States Code Service. You should research the federal statute in one of these unofficial print versions of the Code because they are both more up-to-date than the official Code. Also, the unofficial versions 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 links to them here:
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 3531-3549 (created the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides assistance for housing and community development)
- 42 U.S.C. Sections 1404a-1440: Low Income Housing
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development offers assistance to persons developing or improving dwellings. 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 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.
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 the CFR 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.
Resources for Additional Help
The resources below may help you understand subsidized housing law. Keep in mind, however, that books explaining 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.
- HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing
- Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook
- HUD's Housing Choice Vouchers Program
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 following 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, a subject index to Maryland case law, or the Federal Practice Digest, a subject index to federal case law. The Digests arrange summaries of published cases by legal issue using the "topic and key number" system. Once you know the topic and key number combination for your issue, look up that topic and key number in the Digest and you will 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).