Bring Americans Home: Establishing a Rights-Based Framework at the State Level

Ying Chen, Paul McDonough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly apparent that the United States is experiencing a long-term crisis of insecure housing and homelessness. This Article argues that the federal programs in place and the patchwork of state laws regarding housing have not, and without significant reform, probably cannot alleviate the crisis. Instead, the United States should approach housing from a rights centric viewpoint, in which individuals and families are acknowledged as owning the right to adequate housing, and thus they are empowered to enforce that right by law. The Article reviews federal housing policy and canvases state approaches to housing rights, with particular consideration of the international right to adequate housing. It argues that this federal system is unlikely to pivot to a rights-based housing framework, but that states have the power and incentive to implement the international norm of a right to adequate housing directly, including by accessing the available federal
support systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-50
JournalSeattle Journal for Social Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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