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The Anticommons Intersection of Heirs Property and Gentrification

Posted by on Friday, October 6, 2023 in Notes, Volume 76, Volume 76, Number 5.

Emma Ruth White | 76 Vand. L. Rev. 1561

Throughout history, internal and external pressures on Black landowners have resulted in the fragmentation of ownership through heirs property. This fragmentation is analogous to the erosion of community ties within minoritized neighborhoods susceptible to gentrification. Both contexts contribute directly to involuntary exit and land loss within the Black community. This Note analyzes the history of Black property ownership within the United States to illustrate the roots of heirs property and gentrification and evaluates traditional responses to these phenomena through the lens of the tragedy of the anticommons. In doing so, it highlights flaws in existing solutions to heirs property. It culminates with a proposed Uniform Act to mitigate and prevent gentrification-induced involuntary exit that incorporates elements of both the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act and responses to the tragedy of the anticommons.

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Emma Ruth White