Housing, Real Estate & Land Use

Housing has always been crucial to people’s health and security, a fact that is all the more obvious during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the wave of foreclosures that followed the Great Recession. But questions about how housing should be built, where it should be built, and whom should benefit from it are perennial hot topics in the United States.  

The BU Law curriculum offers courses on nearly every facet of housing, real estate, and land use, including landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities, environmental and tax implications, and affordable housing development. Housing law is integrated into the first-year experience through “Housing Law Week,” which sends Property Law students to visit and observe Boston’s busy Housing Court.

Specialized courses cover more advanced topics such as the risk climate change poses to communities and local governments; Native American reservations and tribal governments; local government law; and infrastructure financing. A simulation course allows students to participate in the mock sale of an urban site in Cambridge for redevelopment as a mixed-use multi-family and retail building, and students in the Civil Litigation & Justice Program’s clinics have the opportunity to represent clients facing eviction, including as a result of the global pandemic.  

LLM students in the LLM in Banking & Financial Law program learn about the funding mechanisms behind housing, real estate, and land use projects and also have the option of participating in the Financial Services Internship program, which places students in financial services firms or organizations for 10 to 20 hours a week.