Life Together: How Housing Laws Define America's Families

Frank S. Alexander

Emory Law


Housing restrictions, in the form of restrictive covenants, housing and building codes, and zoning regulations, have subtly helped to define our conception of what constitutes a family. Local ordinances have controlled and curtailed the type of dwellings that qualify as family homes, substituting relationship requirements for requirements of purpose or function. This article argues that moral judgments are the driving force behind some housing restrictions, and that such restrictions actually undermine the notion of family in our neighborhoods.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Real estate finance, foreclosure, property abandoned, vacant, zoning, regulation, covenant, family restriction ordinance

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Date posted: November 14, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Frank S., Life Together: How Housing Laws Define America's Families (2005). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1936024 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1936024

Contact Information

Frank S. Alexander (Contact Author)
Emory Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
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