Condominium–Home Ownership for Megaopolis?

The past year, 1962, witnessed no let up in the cold war between East and West. In the race for the conquest of space, in the battle of national rates of economic growth, in the propaganda struggle to fix the responsibility for nuclear testing, in the trial of strength over Cuba, and in countless other areas, each bloc leader continued to measure achievement against the rival’s successes or defeats. The cold war is a deadly business and produces little to warm the cockles of a man’s heart, but, if only the threat of nuclear destruction could be averted, there is something of fascination and, indeed, high-spirited adventure in this clash between powerful societies founded on different economic, political, social, and religious theories. To the lawyer (or layman for that matter) interested in the institution of property, the struggle for superiority has an added fillip–the opportunity to see basic principle tested in times of great stress and change. The worldwide population explosion, the mass migration to urban and suburban areas, and the accelerating rate of technical advance call for a legal response to the needs of the new society without abandoning the heritage of the past. This broad generality becomes concrete when we look at the specific problem of home ownership in the United States of America and in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. Here is a facet of the domestic economy that touches the quick of every individual. A society which fails to provide satisfactory housing for its citizens has stubbed its toe at the threshold of the good life.

It is the purpose of this article to explore this old-new concept and evaluate its utility for modern society.