Most people have a practical interest in housing. At its most elementary level, housing is a basic human need. Our dwellings provide shelter from the weather and, we hope, remain ‘water tight and weather-proof’ (according to the ancient Roman writer Cicero). But housing is more than just a place of shelter, it is where we spend most of our lives, either alone or with others. We need a base to which we can retreat from the world of work, to relax in, and to make our own special place. In many countries, this idea of a special place is captured by the idea of the ‘home’, although many feminists have argued that this concept incorporates gender bias, and they refuse to use the term.
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