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A state agency's interpretation of federal statutes is not entitled to the deference afforded a federal agency's interpretation of its own statutes.
Plaintiff, a former tenant of a residential rental property that was financed, at least in part, through the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program challenges (1) the trial court's allowance of summary judgment, on grounds of "Chevron deference," against her claims for injunctive and declaratory relief pertaining to the enforceability of certain "use restrictions" related to the LIHTC program; and (2) the court's denial of her cross-motion for summary judgment.
Are interpretations of federal law by the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, an agency established under Or. Rev. Stat. § 456.555(1) entitled to deference?
The court held that interpretations of federal law by the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, an agency established under Or. Rev. Stat. § 456.555(1), were not entitled to deference because the Department was not a federal agency. The authorizing legislation for the federal program did not delegate rulemaking authority to the Department, and informal advice from a federal employee did not qualify the Department's interpretation to receive deference from the courts.