THE INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HOUSING AND HOME, Elsevier Ltd, 2010
7 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2009
Date Written: February 25, 2009
This article introduces the housing paradigm perspective, a relatively new field of housing theory and comparative housing studies. The housing paradigm perspective identifies housing paradigms and uses them as tools for understanding and analyzing housing law and policy. Housing paradigms are value-laden organizing principles that shape the whole range of housing issues (viz. financing, production, location, and the use of housing) at all levels of government through an ongoing social dialogue. The primary U.S. housing paradigms are: (1) Housing as an Economic Good, (2) Housing as Home, (3) Housing as a Human Right, (4) Housing as Providing Social Order, and (5) Housing as One Land Use in a Functional System. (In a previous article, Our Pluralist Housing Ethics and the Struggle for Affordability, 42 Wake Forest L. Rev. 511 (2007), the author labeled the paradigms as "housing ethics.") This article explains that heterogeneity or pluralism among housing paradigms is to be expected because of human housing's multi-dimensionality. This article analyzes several dimensions of such pluralism, including global variety and local variety as well as both static and dynamic pluralism. Finally, this article explains some of the consequences of housing paradigm pluralism and identifies critical conceptual, methodological and empirical issues in the field.
Keywords: housing theory, comparative housing law, housing law
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