Our Pluralist Housing Ethics and the Struggle for Affordability
Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 42, pp. 511-593, 2007
84 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2007 Last revised: 29 Oct 2009
Building on recent scholarship, this Article explores the five housing ethics that have historically shaped U.S. housing law and policy: (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. The housing ethic framework brings all of America's housing law and policy under one conceptual roof. The Article argues that each of these housing ethics is deeply embedded in American housing policy and law, and that none has ever achieved a complete hegemony, i.e., that coexistence and pluralism among the housing ethics is the norm. The Article examines the challenges and opportunities that our housing ethic pluralism presents to the affordable housing movement. It identifies the housing as one land use in a functional system ethic as the single most promising ethic to advance affordability.
Keywords: housing, legal right, ethics, discrimination, planning, policy, affordability, social norms
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