Earlier this week, I read two landmark court cases, Mount Laurel 1 and Mount Laurel 2. These cases were about discriminatory zoning that affected low-income families who needed affordable housing. To make a long story short, the town said, “If you can’t afford to live here, leave the town” and the government said “you can’t do that, you must provide” a “realistic opportunity” for housing for low income families.
I think these two cases could be considered civil rights cases because the right to affordable housing should be a civil right. The definition of a civil right is the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.
In these cases, the people who were affected were some of the same people advocating for civil rights in the ’50s and ’60s. Poor people and black people have been denied so much, and all they want is to get the things everyone else has.
To them, it’s a civil right issue.
I believe housing is a civil right, or at least it’s a human right because housing is essential to survival. Without housing, people are left on the streets, or if housing isn’t affordable then other things must be sacrificed.
Now you must ask yourself, “Do you think housing is a social political freedom?” To be honest, housing doesn’t meet that criteria, but it is essential. As a country, we must find a way to give people equal opportunities to housing. I’m not saying that everyone should have the same house, but they should have equal opportunities to get housing that fits their needs.
By Donald Scott