Sex offender cannot be evicted from state-subsidized housing because of regulatory limitation imposed after the lease began

The Connecticut Supreme Court has held that a registered sex offender cannot be evicted from housing subisidized by the state when he obtained the subsidy and the housing before passage of the state law banning such assistance. Shannon v. Comm'r of Housing, 140 A.3d 903 (Conn. 2016) (see dissenting opinion here). The court applied a state law that provides that any law that imposes "any new obligation on any person or corporation shall [not] be construed to have a retroactive effect." Conn. Gen. Stat. §55-3. Under that law a new regulation that denies housing assistance to registered sex offenders could not be applied retroactively.

The Court noted, however, that "although there is a property interest in the receipt of a public benefit so long as it is available, without statutory terms restricting its authority to do so, the legislature remains free to change or eliminate benefit entitlements by amending or repealing the applicable statutes, including those that set eligibility criteria. Thus, should the defendant determine that potentially retroactive changes to the rental program are beneficial to the program's utility or viability, subject to applicable constitutional protections... the defendant (state agency) remains free to ask the legislature for the requisite authority to promulgate retroactive regulations."