The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,582 times Debate No: 99891
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)




Round 1. Acceptance
Round 2. AC/NC
Round 3. AR/NR
Round 4. No new arguments, Voters for debate.

I affirm Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.


Ugh- another Bernie Voter
let's get this nightmare on the road I guess.
Debate Round No. 1


I accept your argument, RonPaulConservative.

First, allow me to point out one unrelated thing. I did not vote for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election. This debate is the same resolution as the March/April Lincoln Douglas Debate Resolution for the National Speech and Debate Association, and I would like some different view points.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated in 1948 that, "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

I therefore affirm resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.

I provide the following definitions to further ground today"s debate:
The United States refers to the entire country per the Oxford English Dictionary
Ought is defined by Merriam Webster as an obligation
Guarantee does not mean it will happen, only responsibility, Collins English Dictionary
Right, per the Collins English Dictionary, means something legally granted
Housing refers to buildings where people live per the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

I value utilitarianism in today"s debate, best defined my Merriam-Webster as a doctrine that the determining of consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; a doctrine that the useful is the good.
Thus, my criterion will the promotion of social welfare, where the only manner of gauging the usefulness of conduct will be through the insurance of a just society for all. The best way to ensure for a just society will be through the guaranteeing of the right for housing.

Contention 1: Housing is a human right
Subpoint A: The right to housing is widely recognized internationally as a human right
United Nations, 2009
International human rights law recognizes everyone"s right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate housing. millions are forcibly evicted, or threatened with forced eviction, from their homes every year. Adequate housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Other international human rights treaties have since recognized or referred to the right to adequate housing or some elements of it, such as the protection of one"s home and privacy.

Subpoint B: Violating the right to housing violates a host of human rights and social opportunities
United Nations 2009,
Human rights are interdependent, indivisible and interrelated. the violation of the right to adequate housing may affect the enjoyment of a wide range of other human rights and vice versa. Access to adequate housing can be a precondition for the enjoyment of several human rights, including the rights to work, health, social security, vote, privacy or education. The possibility of earning a living can be seriously impaired when a person has been relocated following a forced eviction to a place removed from employment opportunities.

Subpoint C: Adequate housing is essential to human welfare
Leilani Farha, 2016,
It should go without saying that housing is essential to well-being, even life. It is so much more than a physical space or structure. It"s where we develop our first social relationships, it ties us to our communities, and it"s connected to our livelihoods. Just as housing goes beyond four walls and a roof, homelessness is not about just the lack of a house.

Subpoint D: The need for housing is unquestioned
Florence Wagman Roisman, 1971. 39 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 691 1970-1971
Millions of Americans have no effective choice but to live in dwellings that suffer any of the defects by which we measure bad housing: insufficient size; inadequate facilities; unsuitable location; actual danger to safety or health; cost that exceeds the means of the family. Securing housing is a calamity for the poor. Too often the dilemmas of housing the poor are masked by considering them in conjunction with the housing problems of the moderate, middle and upper income groups. Furthermore, separate consideration of the housing problems of the poor is necessary because it generally will not be politically popular to help the poor, at least so long as many Americans continue to despise them for being poor (especially if they also are Black, Indian or Spanish-speaking). Discussions of housing problems generally, or of the housing problems of "low and moderate income groups," usually have little to do with the poor.

Contention 2: The right to housing decreases discrimination and better ensures safety
Subpoint A: Equal Housing upholds equality under the law
Florence Wagman Roisman, 1971.

the constitutional argument is that a local jurisdiction's provision of public housing when inadequate in quantity or location contravenes the guarantee of equal protection of the laws. It is difficult to contemplate resistance to the common-sense proposition that artificial limits imposed upon public housing eligibles are often racial. ["]housing involves both racial and economic discrimination. Strict enforcement of statutes, [especially the Open Housing Act of 1968] will help establish an atmosphere in which such discrimination will be the exception rather than the rule. The consequence is thus heightening the tendency for racial polarity in our society. In addition to general abuses prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may seriously curtail the operation of those political processes relied upon; to protect minorities,

Subpoint B: A right to housing is pragmatic. It is the foundation of accessing all social benefits and reduces wealth inequality
Rachel G. Bratt, et al., 2006,
The call to adopt and implement a Right to Housing not only has an ethical basis in principles of justice It is also based on a highly pragmatic perspective-the central role that housing plays in peoples" lives. Given the many ways in which housing is, or can be, the basic building block for a range of related bene@257;ts""a host of new social relationships and economic opportunities would emerge if a Right to Housing were realized, and the extensive negative impacts of poor housing would largely disappear. A Right to Housing would also go a long way toward countering the pernicious trend toward our society's extremes of material well-being and opportunity"disparities that have a clear racial dimension as well and that make true democracy impossible.

Subpoint C: Homelessness magnifies all other problems in life
Shelton, 2009
The physical and mental health of people who are homeless is considerably worse than that of the general population. The prevalence of mental disorders is three to four times higher among the homeless population, with rates of affective and anxiety disorders and drug and alcohol abuse particularly elevated. Rates of DSM diagnoses among the homeless are almost double those among persons who have never been homeless, whereas the rate of alcohol use disorder co-occurring with one or more psychiatric disorders has been identified as five times greater.

Subpoint D: The Neg"s absolutist perspective overdetermines race and obscures privilege
L. A. Visano, 2002
Whiteness is a complexly articulated plurality of discourses that are never static but rather ongoing cultural processes. Whiteness is not a monolithic, homogeneous, nor absolutist category., whiteness, acquires meaning in reference to its active relatedness or forms of dynamic embeddedness. Whiteness is a fragmentary set of assumptions about privilege rooted well within structures of dominance.

Therefore, you must vote for the pro in today's debate.


Last I checked, natural rights consist only in Life, Liberty, Property, and Self-ownsership- nowhere in the costitution does it ensure free housing, and even if it did- the natural state of a human is not to live in a house, but to live in a hovel or cave. This mens that a 'right to housing' cannot be a natural right- because it isn't natural at all.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent says, and I quote, "Last I checked, natural rights consist only in Life, Liberty, Property, and Self-ownsership- nowhere in the costitution does it ensure free housing, and even if it did- the natural state of a human is not to live in a house, but to live in a hovel or cave. This mens that a 'right to housing' cannot be a natural right- because it isn't natural at all."

A few things to say about this:

First. I never mention anything in my entire case about natural rights. I solely mention human rights in my case, so we consider it dropped from refutation in its entirety. But if you don't buy that...

Natural rights are defined by the Business Dictionary as fundamental human rights based on universal natural law, as opposed to those based on man-made positive law. Although there is no unanimity as to which right is natural and which is not, the widely held view is that nature endows every human (without any distinction of time or space, and without any regard to age, gender, nationality, or race) with certain inalienable rights (such as the right to 'life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness') which cannot be abrogated or interfered with by any government. And that, whether or not these rights are enshrined in a national legal code, no government is lawful if it fails to upholds them.

So I ask my opponent this. Does housing allow the pursuit of happiness? If so, I win because I enable this. If not, please provide tangible evidence to show that a right to housing doesn't give happiness.

Furthermore, the natural state of a human may indeed be to live in a hovel or cave. But that fits directly in my definition of housing, so my opponent therefore provides no contradictory evidence against me, which means that the Con isn't actually arguing against the resolution, which further gives reason for me to win.

He then closes with the assertion that the right to housing isn't a natural right because it isn't natural. I just showed how housing falls under constitutionally protected rights, therefore making the right to housing making a natural right. Therefore, I again win this debate.

Moving on to extend the dropped arguments from round 2.

I further the impacts of housing for humans. LGBTQ individuals often struggle to find housing because the federal government does not explicitly prevent discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Robert Espinoza, 2014:

The relationship between aging and housing discrimination forms the subject of a new report from the Equal Rights Center, in partnership with SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Based on an investigation conducted in 10 states, the report finds that 48 percent of older adult testers in same-sex relationships experienced at least one form of differential treatment when seeking housing. Same-sex couples were provided fewer rental options, higher fees, more extensive application requirements and less information regarding financial incentives than opposite-sex couples"barriers likely faced, though insufficiently studied, among the larger, more diverse spectrum of LGBT people. For example, a 2011 national study of nearly 6,500 transgender and gender-nonconforming people found that 19 percent of respondents were denied housing and 11 percent were evicted because they were transgender or gender-nonconforming. For the same reasons, 29 percent were turned away from homeless shelters, and 25 percent and 22 percent were physically and sexually assaulted, respectively, while in a homeless shelter. Queer people too often wager with risk, danger and personal compromise to survive the night"and if achieved, the years that follow. This hardship of finding both home and housing reverberates as a theme across LGBT-rights struggles. The federal government does not explicitly protect against discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity, though recent rules, some legal interpretations and a growing number of states and cities are moving toward more protections. Homelessness among queer youth and transgender people remains disproportionately high. Harsh immigration law keeps many queer immigrants from their loved ones abroad. Housing for low-income people with HIV receives scant attention and government support, with some exceptions. And for queer people raised in towns, states and regions that are politically hostile, or which lose their relevance as we mature and evolve, leaving home can leave psychological scars that we"re left to construe in private.

Therefore, the right to housing is more beneficial to LGBT folks then the lack of such a right. Vote Pro on this argument.

Furthermore, the Right to housing is necessary for the realization of rights to life, liberty, security, freedom from domestic violence, employment, and a healthy environment
New York City Bar Association, 2016

Without full realization of the right to adequate housing, other rights become difficult to realize. At a base level, the right to housing affects the right to life, liberty, and security of person. For example, domestic violence victims especially need secure housing to ensure their safety. The lack of adequate housing also inhibits the realization of the rights to health and well-being, education, and clean water and sanitation. Furthermore, where the right requires proof of residency"as is sometimes seen with the rights to vote, secure employment, or make decisions about the family "the right to housing becomes paramount.

AND, Formal mechanisms like rights are the only conduit from material grievances to actual practices
Graeme Hayes, 2016

Attention to material grievances is a fundamental starting point for any discussion of the incidence of social mobilization, but has causal force only to the extent that grievances are placed in relation to their social construction, and to their translation by collective actors into sets of practices and claims. Here, I have therefore developed a second, related argument, attempting to bring out how the specifically material construction of austerity as an overarching regime is underpinned by a series of associated ideational, institutional and spatial regimes. These regimes are both pre-conditions for and expressive of the operation of fiscal austerity, and produce a series of enclosures. Social movements mobilize in physical and virtual spaces that are already configured and reconfigured by state power and economic power and social history, and whose multiple configurations both constrain action and provide movements with potent narratives of struggle. Thus the prior existence of regimes of civic and ideological austerity are necessary to the development of regimes of fiscal and political austerity; and because fiscal and political austerities in turn re-produce civic and ideological austerities, they also reveal them, make them visible and enable the productions of social challenge against their material and ideational impacts and premises.

Therefore, vote for the Pro in today's debate. Thank you.


Rights refers to something which you are automatically entitled to- and as, fundamentally and logically speaking, there is nothing about government which gives it the authority to grant rights, 'rights,' canot be granted by government. Instead, everyone is entitled to their life, liberty, property, and self- and nothing else.
The 'pursuit of happiness,' is't a natural right, Thomas Jefferson decided to replace 'property,' with 'the pursuit of happiness,' for some odd reason that I don't know. Either way 'the ursuit of happiness,' is preserved under liberty. Regardless of this, my opponent assumes that, because you need a house to fully pursue happiness, that housing is a right- when in reality, having a house is your responsibility to ensure. Just as eating food is necesary to live, but it would be absurd to pass a law saying that the government had to ensure thatyou were eating 3 times a day and had food in your house, because this is your resonsibility to do.
Furthermore, natural rights are things which someone else is not allowed to commit aggression against, not something that you should automatically have ensured to you by government.

Regarding LGBTQ people being discriminated against- it is not the governments job to prevent discrimination. If I decide not to serve gay people, for example, I should be able to do that. Unless you are innitiating direct aggression against gay people, you aren't infringing any of their rights. For so as long as this is ensured to any group of people, they are not being oppressed and have equal right just like everybody else.
Debate Round No. 3


Alright, here begins the closing argument.

My opponent continues to hammer down on two things:
First, he continues to believe that the United States government doesn't entitle rights. I have two responses to this. First, nothing in my case says anything about the government ensuring the right to housing. It can just as easily be accomplished by a non-profit across the nation and have nothing to do with the government, so I win this argument because my opponent's argument stands on a slippery slope: he fails to prove why the term "United States" means the government at any point in the debate and cannot do so in the 4th round without violating the fairness in this debate as explained in Round 1. So, I win this argument. But even if you don't buy that, the Constitution is essentially rights-giving. It's a set of exceptions to a general statement "All is ok except..." So essentially, the Constitution enables rights with exceptions. Again, I win this argument, another reason to vote for the Pro in today's debate.

Second, the fact that my opponent brings up the right to property is further proof why the Pro wins. If you are conservative and believe in how the Constitution was written, then you must vote Pro simply because the Pro defends the right to own housing. Now this doesn't mean a "house" as my opponent continues insinuating, it just means housing. See my definition in Round 2 for clarification.

I disagree with the absurdity of passing laws mandating food simply because Michelle Obama already did that in Public Schools mandating school breakfast and lunch? Again, his argument continues to be contradicted by the status quo.

He mentions natural rights again. Please show me in my Round 2 argument where I directly mention "natural rights". Because I didn't. Non-topical argument can be ignored.

Now on to the LGBT argument. Two things:

1. If you're anti-LGBT, that's fine. That doesn't, however, allow you to openly discriminate. There are laws against that:

Please actually refute things with actually evidence instead of your own bigoted ideals. He then closes with, "For so as long as this is ensured to any group of people, they are not being oppressed and have equal right just like everybody else." That's the whole point! Thank you for making my case for me. We need to ensure housing to reduce discrimination. Look to the Espinoza 2014 argument in Round 3 that goes unrefuted to show why LGBT folks desperately need housing to feel safer. This is only done by giving them their right to housing, and that can only be done by voting Pro.

Now a few more closing things:

The language of rights is key for political mobilization and social change
Hartman 2006.
Although establishing a right to housing in the United States does not appear to be immediately feasible, that political reality in no way detracts from the argument that our society ought to embrace it. I proceed from a normative, philosophical stance that asserts the wisdom and justice of such a right as well as our society"s clear ability to achieve it. After all, what have "rights" been historically in the United States if not an evolving societal sense of justice and entitlement, won always in political struggle (frequently undergirded by various intellectual efforts)? The right of slaves to be free of bondage was won in that way via armed struggle and political action that produced amendments to our Constitution. The right of women to vote has a similar (albeit less violent) history. Workers won the right to organize, and federal legislation with such guarantees was passed to codify that right. Ending child labor, winning an eight-hour workday and securing unemployment benefits represent other labor victories. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s produced a set of legal rights that did not previously exist and changed profoundly at least the public culture and practices with regard to race. In all these instances, the appeal was to a higher sense of justice, to fundamental principles of a democracy and to foundational docu-ments embodied in the creation of our country. The content of rights is thus a constantly evolving drama, as those lacking what they perceive as fundamental entitlements, together with their intellectual and
political supporters, raise new issues, make new demands and organize politically to assert and bring into being new elements to society"s understanding and acceptance of what everyone should have.

Housing is a fundamental right that exists at the center of social and personal life

In short, because housing is so central to one"s life, it merits attaining the status of a right. It is at the core of one"s social and personal life, determining the kinds of influences and relationships one has and access to key opportunities and services (education, employment, healthcare). Housing also is an outward sign of status and affects the health and
well-being of the surrounding community. Probably only those who have experienced how hard it is to create and maintain personal and family stability or land a job without a home, how hard it is to keep up with schoolwork in an overcrowded apartment, how much the sheer pressure to make the rent can overwhelm the rest of one"s life" experiences largely foreign to the housing policy analysts, academics and bureaucrats who read and write scholarly articles such as this"can fully comprehend just how central decent, affordable housing is, or might be, and how limiting and burdensome is its
absence. WHY JUST HOUSING? The question may be raised: Why housing? Why not a right to decent, affordable food? To health care? Why not guarantee people enough income so that, like the majority of Americans, they can purchase the housing, health care and other basics they need in the market? I would answer as follows. We certainly should have a right to decent, affordable food and health care (in the latter case, the costs, it should be noted, would be somewhat lower were housing-related detriments to good health eliminated); our failure to pass single-payer health reform legislation or otherwise provide these guarantees is a tragedy of massive proportions. It is not an either/or proposition, and movements for basic rights must coalesce into a more potent political force. Housing has a special character, not only because it consumes so large a portion of the household budget, especially for lower-income families, but because it is, as noted above, the central setting for so much of one"s personal and family life as well as the locus of mobility opportunities, access to community resources and societal status (Hartman 1975). It would make things far easier if everyone in the United States had enough income to satisfy his or her needs in the market, but that goal is even less likely to be achieved than is the goal of decent housing for all. The structure of the job market and the shredding of the social safety net make it hard to
imagine how every-one could have enough income to pay for housing and other necessities. In fact, an increasingly large number of Americans are unable to attain a decent standard of living as prices outstrip incomes. Moreover, that approach
misreads the nature of the housing market. The profit-maximizing behavior of all actors in that market"landowners, developers, builders, materials suppliers, real estate brokers, landlords, even homeowners"at all points works against assuring that everyone has decent, affordable housing, absent a legally enforceable Right to Housing and explicit commitment of resources to its realization.

In conclusion, you can vote Pro off of this:
1. My opponent fails to refute anything in Round 2, which means everything extended in Round 3 gains Pro offense
2. He fails to clash with Pro ideas and provide reasons why housing is bad.


The United States means either the Federal Government or the State Governments collectively- the words themselves say this- United (the union of) States (Governments), means the Union of the State Governments composing the United States, which is the Federal Government. Regarding the constitution- the Constitution doesn't give you rights, it merely is a legal protection of them- natural rights exist inherently.

My opponent has thus far made the argument that the Federal Government should ensure housing to everyone- to say otherwise doesn't mean you are opposing the right to property. You have the right to own your home provided you got it voluntarily from the person who owned it prior to you. This does not imply a right to have the the Federal Government give you free housing at the expense of the taxpayers, AKA theft victims.

Regarding gay people- I don't give a sh*t, for some reason or another progressives try to label anyone who isn't a part of the homosexual tyrannosaurus which is rampaging all across the US as "anti-LGBTQ," or "Bigoted." When all I was doing was promoting economic freedom- there are places that only serve gays, get over it.

My opponent even took a quote of mine out of context and said that I agreed with his premise of "anti-discrimination laws," when in reality I said that gay people should only be ensured to Life, Liberty, Property, and Self-Ownership, and that as long as they are being ensured these they aren't "lacking in rights," because that's all anyone's really entitled to.

Furthermore, I never said that housing is bad- I said that we shouldn't 'ensure free housing,' because that isn't an actual natural right that the government is obliged to provide, and it will be paid for through coercion and theft, which are wrong. It is every individuals obligation to provide his or her self with housing, food, and health care.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SirInNeed 3 years ago
can anybody send me their negative case. i am having trouble

THank you
Posted by LD_and_Congress_Debater 3 years ago
I am using the same resolution, and I just want to say that I didn't fully understand the topic, (Which I should because I'm going to states with this topic) and this helped me understand the right to housing arguments. I do have critique, I suggest not using Utilitarianism as a value, I believe it is more of criterion, however, if that's what you were going for, then that's perfectly okay.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
>Reported vote: TheCritic89// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: Con, you could have made good arguments here. You didn't. Pro, I disagree with you, but your points went without refutation in this debate. You win.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn"t explain conduct, S&G or sources. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to specifically assess arguments from both sides in this debate. Merely stating that one side didn"t make good arguments and that they didn"t refute points from the other side is not specific.
Posted by paintballvet18 3 years ago
Thank you to RonPaulConservative for debating. I leave it to the voters now.
Posted by Gregg_Hyde 3 years ago
Yes in your conceited opinion. But stating that without justification is not an argument.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 3 years ago
Rights are inhereint, they cannot be granted by government.
Posted by Gregg_Hyde 3 years ago
Saying it's not in the constitution isn't an argument. The point of the debate is, in essence, to discuss whether it should be a constitutional right to be guaranteed housing or not. You have to argue why it shouldn't be, not state that it isn't. The failure to rebut his individual points by conceit to the constitution may prove fatal here.

Good luck.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 3 years ago
No it isn't
Posted by Gregg_Hyde 3 years ago
Whelp that rebuttal is actually a concede.
Posted by Gregg_Hyde 3 years ago
Alright paintballvet18
No votes have been placed for this debate.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.