Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Group, 508 U.S. 10, 8 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 10 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

the assistance contracts to annual rent increases based on the automatic adjustment factors alone. In separate lawsuits, the United States District Courts for the Western District of Washington and the Central District of California each granted summary judgment for respondents. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a consolidated appeal, affirmed both judgments. Alpine Ridge Group v. Kemp, 955 F. 2d 1382 (1992). Refusing to reconsider its earlier holding in Rainier View, supra, the court first reaffirmed that the assistance contracts prohibited HUD from capping rents based on independent comparability studies. See 955 F. 2d, at 1384-1385. The court then held that Congress' attempt to authorize such caps through the Reform Act unconstitutionally deprived respondents of their "vested property interest in formula-based rent adjustments pursuant to their section 8 contracts." Id., at 1387.

We granted certiorari, 506 U. S. 984 (1992), and now reverse.


We begin our analysis of respondents' due process claim with the assistance contracts. Because we find that those contracts do not prohibit the use of comparability studies to impose an independent cap on the formula-based rent adjustments, our analysis ends there as well.

In our view, respondents' claimed entitlement to formula-based rent adjustments without regard to independent comparisons to private-market rents is precluded by the plain language of the assistance contracts. To be sure, 1.9b(2) of those contracts provides that the contract rents "shall be adjusted [annually] by applying the applicable Automatic Annual Adjustment Factor most recently published by the Government." Section 1.9d of the contracts, however, im-that the reduced maximum monthly rents were in effect." 42 U. S. C. 1437f(c)(2)(C) (1988 ed., Supp. III). HUD has now published proposed regulations governing the future use of comparability studies, as required by this provision. See 57 Fed. Reg. 49120 (1992).


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