Property Rights, Housing, and the American Constitution: The Social Benefits of Property Rights Protection, Government Interventions, and the European Court on Human Rights’ Hutten-Czapska Decision
33 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2011 Last revised: 19 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 3, 2011
Nations around the world utilize government interventions to promote the availability and affordability of housing. This article focuses on various types of government regulatory interventions, such as rent controls, building dedications and exactions, and density and growth controls on housing. These interventions are common in the United States and in other countries and may contribute to inefficient resource allocation and poor housing outcomes. This article examines whether these types of government interventions may require, in particular cases in the United States, judicially required compensatory damages for affected property owners. The social costs of these forms of government intervention are examined from the perspective of the benefits accruing from a regime of property rights protection. This article further explains that there is some existing precedent under international human rights norms, as illustrated by the Hutten-Czapska v. Poland decision, for the standards used in the United States for protecting the property rights of owners and developers of housing from excessive and unwise government regulation.
Keywords: affordable housing, property rights, international human rights, Hutten-Czapska, government regulation
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