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54 U. Louisville L. Rev. 357 (2016)
Saving the American Dream: The Legalization of the Tiny House Movement

handle is hein.journals/branlaj54 and id is 369 raw text is: 





SAVING THE AMERICAN DREAM: THE LEGALIZATION
              OF THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT


                          Katherine M Vail*


                            I. INTRODUCTION

    Since the genesis of America, property ownership has been an intrinsic
feature, and also a status symbol, for American society. Founders of
America, such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and
Thomas Jefferson, believed that ownership and protection of property was a
right of the people and was necessary to preserve a republican form of
government.' This has remained true throughout time as part of the
American Dream.2 So much so that Americans have redefined property
ownership to imply the right to own a suburban mansion.3
    It is no surprise then that downsizing is often regarded with a
negative connotation, usually as a result of the recent economic recession
and the layoffs that came with it, or as a result of becoming an empty-
nester.'1 However, that sentiment is steadily changing.5 Americans are
coming to the realization that the quintessential American Dream is no
longer as economically feasible as it once was,6 and with the strengthening
attitude towards all that is deemed eco-friendly, Americans are becoming
more interested in reducing their environmental footprint.' The result is that
a portion of Americans have become disillusioned with the supersized ideal
and are turning towards the Tiny House Movement so that they may still
achieve the revered goal of property ownership.
    The Tiny House Movement is a social movement where people are
downsizing the space that they live in in order to live simpler lives with


   * J.D. Candidate, May 2016, Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville.
     David Schultz, Political Theory and Legal History: Conflicting Depictions of Property in the
American Political Founding, 37 AM. J. LEGAL HIST. 464, 475-76 (1993).
    2 JAMES TRUSLOW ADAMS, THE EPic OF AMERICA, 404 (Little, Brown and Co., I st ed. 193 1).
    Prashant Gopal and Heather Perlberg, Mansions Replace Old Homes in Upscale Makeover for
U.S. Suburbs, MSN (May 27, 2015), http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/mansions-replace-
old-homes-in-upscale-makeover-for-us-suburbs/ar-BBkhYIA.
    I Amy Conner-Murphy, Dream Homes: Compact Luxury, ACM DESIGN BLOG (Nov. 28, 2012),
http://www.acmdesignarchitects.com/dream-homes-compact-luxury/.
    5Id.
    6 Id
    I What is the Tiny House Movement?, THE TINY LIFE, http://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-
house-movement/ (last visited Feb. 25, 2015).

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