Biafora v. United States, No. 13-5130 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In the 1950s and ’60s, to encourage private developers to construct, own, and manage housing projects for low- and moderate-income families, the government insured mortgages on those projects in exchange for provisions, such as a 40-year mortgage term, an agreement to maintain affordability restrictions for the duration of the mortgage, and prepayment limitations or prohibitions. The Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 and the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990 instituted a process to request the right to prepay mortgages. There were substantive restrictions on HUD granting prepayment requests, limiting its discretion, 12 U.S.C. 4108(a)). Prepayment is one step toward renting at market prices. The Acts permit HUD to grant incentives rather than permission to prepay. Owners claimed that the Acts constituted an as-applied taking. The Claims Court granted the government’s motions: for summary judgment that the takings claims for some properties were unripe for failure to exhaust administrative remedies; for summary judgment that no taking occurred for properties for which mortgages did not include a prepayment right; and for summary judgment of collateral estoppel as to one owner. The Federal Circuit affirmed as to ripeness and prepayment, but reversed as to collateral estoppel.