Woods v. Cloyd W. Miller Co

333 U.S. 138, 68 S. Ct. 421 (1948)



Section 204(b) (28 U.S.C.S. § 349(a)) of the Housing and Rent Act of 1947 provides that no person shall demand, accept, or receive any rent for the use or occupancy of any controlled housing accommodations greater than the maximum rent established under the authority of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, as amended, and in effect with respect thereto on June 30, 1947.


The Housing and Rent Act, 28 U.S.C.S. § 349, became effective on July 1, 1947. The following day, the landlord demanded of its tenants increases of 40 percent and 60 percent for rental accommodations in a city defense-rental area. That was an admitted violation of the Act and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. The housing expediter thereupon instituted the proceeding under § 206(b) of the Act to enjoin the violations, and a preliminary injunction was issued. The injunction was reversed after a hearing. On appeal, the Court reversed. The Court held that the war power sustained the legislation.


Was the continuation of the rent control by the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, enacted after the termination of hostilities, a valid exercise of the war power?




he Court held that the war power sustained the legislation. The legislative history of the Act made abundantly clear that there had not yet been eliminated the deficit in housing that, in considerable measure, was caused by the heavy demobilization of veterans and by the cessation or reduction in residential construction during the period of hostilities. Since the war effort contributed heavily to that deficit, Congress had the power even after the cessation of hostilities to act to control the forces that a short supply of the needed article created.

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