Thursday, August 05, 2021

Is housing a human right?

Lots of noise is being made over the claim that housing is a human right. Is it?

Well, yes. But not in the way it is being presented. Those who don't understand what a right is get confused over things like this.

You have the right to provide yourself with housing. This just means no one has the right to forbid it, as long as you are housing yourself in a way that doesn't violate their life, liberty, or property.

No one has the right to impose building codes or to impose "zoning" that would prevent you from housing yourself. 

You are responsible for making sure your house doesn't collapse on top of you. If it does, you probably built a house that was beyond your skill level. Maybe you shouldn't do that.

"Taxation" makes it harder to house yourself, and is therefore something no one has a "right" to do.

But no one is obligated to provide you with housing at their expense. You don't have a right to trespass on someone else's property. You don't have the right to live in someone else's house without paying them the amount of money you have mutually agreed upon. You don't have a right to the type of housing you'd prefer if you can't provide it for yourself. 

So, if by claiming "housing is a human right" you are imagining it's OK to force someone to house another against their will, you're showing you don't understand rights. You may be a socialistic statist.


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