List journal issues    
Home List journal issues Table of contents Subscribe to PAQ


Volume 31 • Number 1

January 2017



Gentrification as Injustice: A Relational Egalitarian Approach to Urban Housing

by Tyler Zimmer

This paper focuses on the nature of the landlord/tenant relationship in uncontrolled rental housing markets. I argue that relational egalitarianism—the view that our social and political relations to one another ought not involve arbitrary power asymmetries—gives us moral reasons to criticize this relationship. In particular, I try to show that landlord/tenant relationships involve objectionable forms of economic subordination—more specifically, relations that involve exploitation and marginalization—as well as political inequality. I conclude the paper with some reflections on policy solutions to the problems I identify. Contrary to the consensus among most economists and government officials, not to mention landlords, I maintain that rent control should be seen as a legitimate and effective tool—among others—for curbing the power of landlords and protecting tenants.

view PDF



Home | Issue Index
© 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Content in Public Affairs Quarterly is intended for personal, noncommercial use only. You may not reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, modify, create derivative works from, display, or in any way exploit the Public Affairs Quarterly database in whole or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder.

ISSN: 2152-0542