Just housing policy: Is there a moral foundation for a homeownership policy?

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There is no lack of social and political reasons in favor of public policies oriented toward helping people to become homeowners. In this study, we undertake a normative inquiry into the moral foundation, if any, behind those politically viable and beneficial publicly supported homeownership programs. What we want to examine is whether public support of homeownership is a question of justice or merely a matter of beneficence. In particular, we have reviewed three different portrayals of homeowners: homeowners as right-holders; homeowners as stakeholders; and homeowners as decent citizens. Our position is that it would do more harm than good to defend homeownership as a matter of basic rights; instead, homeownership can be justified by developing Bruce Ackerman's idea of stakeholding and the notion of asset-building as championed by Michael Sherraden. To conceive homeownership as what people deserve as stakeholders as well as a form of lifelong asset that people can rely on when encountering risks and contingencies provide sufficient ground to render public support of homeownership. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-909
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number6
Early online dateMar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013



Mok, F., & Lee, J. (2013). Just housing policy: Is there a moral foundation for a homeownership policy? Housing Studies, 28(6), 891-909.


  • Moral foundation
  • Stakeholder
  • Decent citizens