"Promoting housing affordability by combating exclusionary housing policies"



Religious Land Use Act (RLUIPA) summary (2010)


The Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”) protects religious institutions -- especially minority denominations -- from exclusionary and discriminatory zoning and land use policies. It is relevant to affordable housing efforts because they encounter much the same problems.

Despite the many controversial aspects of RLUIPA, both critics and proponents agree that the statute increases the ability of religious institutions to overcome regulatory barriers to construction and preservation of religious buildings. For example, attorneys' fee awards can be made to reimburse victims of exclusionary housing policies for the often enormous costs of vindicating their rights in litigation.

Law clerk Ginger Collier (Georgetown Law ’12), analyzed relevant provisions of RLUIPA in summer 2010. She concluded that affordable housing legislation modeled on RLUIPA could reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing.