The First Amendment and Fair Housing in the Sharing Economy

16 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2016  

Nancy Leong

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: October 18, 2016

Abstract

The sharing economy — a marketplace made up of businesses that profit by connecting providers of goods and services with users of those goods and services — challenges us to reevaluate our anti-discrimination laws. This Essay considers one such challenge: how should public accommodation laws such as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act apply to the housing sector of the sharing economy? Such laws, the Essay explains, should apply in full to the housing sector. Moreover, legislators should act to remove the current statutory exemption for landlords who rent a small number of housing units and live on the premises from which they rent. While some might raise concerns that closing the exception will infringe upon small-scale landlords’ First Amendment right to free association, such concerns have no doctrinal basis. Moreover, closing the exception will in fact have the effect of advancing interests related to both freedom of speech and of association, particularly with respect to the people of color whom public accommodation laws were originally designed to protect.

Suggested Citation

Leong, Nancy, The First Amendment and Fair Housing in the Sharing Economy (October 18, 2016). Ohio State Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2853963

Nancy Leong (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans. Ave.
# 465A
Denver, CO 80208-0600
United States

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