The Public Interest

Housing problems and housing policies

Nathan Glazer

Spring 1967

The question of what is “good housing” is never as simple as it appears. Primitive dwellings on Greek isles delight architects and city planners who are horrified by the housing and planning of Levitt and Sons. In Japan, the sixth most powerful industrial nation in the world, and in its wealthiest city, Tokyo, we find that at least three-quarters of the dwellings must be substandard by American census standards, simply because they do not have flush toilets. Or if we consider a country that has, in common opinion, a most enlightened governmental housing policy and a very high living standard, Sweden, we find that the number of persons per room is one-third higher than in the United States.

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