In Defense of Housing

In Defense of Housing:The Politics of Crisis

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Everyone needs and deserves housing. But today our homes are being transformed into commodities, making the inequalities of the city ever more acute. Profit has become more important than social need. The poor are forced to pay more for worse housing. Communities are faced with the violence of displacement and gentrification. And the benefits of decent housing are only available for those who can afford it.

In Defense of Housing is the definitive statement on this crisis from leading urban planner Peter Marcuse and sociologist David Madden. They look at the causes and consequences of the housing problem and detail the need for progressive alternatives. The housing crisis cannot be solved by minor policy shifts, they argue. Rather, the housing crisis has deep political and economic roots—and therefore requires a radical response.


  • Excellent.

    Charles MudedeThe Stranger
  • A critical analysis of the nature of the housing crisis within a political economy perspective. The authors highlight a conflict between housing as home and as real estate for profit making and focus upon processes of commodification of housing, power and exploitation, and inequality and injustice in contemporary capitalist society...A significant contribution to urban planning, sociology, and public policy.

    D.A. Chekki, University of WinnipegChoice
  • He is truly one of the most multifaceted, committed and productive planners anywhere. As a devoted planner and educator, he has worked extensively inside and outside academia and government to promote the highest ethical standards for the profession.

    Planners Network