Housing Decisions

Article excerpt

BOOK REVIEWS

HOUSING DECISIONS

EVELYN L. LEWIS AND CAROLYN S. TURNER (2000)

Tinley Park, IL: The Goodheart-Wilcox Company, Inc.

Reviewed by JORGE H. ATILES, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Extension Housing Specialist, The University of Georgia

Housing Decisions is a practical and comprehensive textbook designed to aid students (traditional or nontraditional) in understanding and addressing housing problems. This book has six previous editions and has been used in classrooms around the nation. It has also served to teach housing topics via distance education. This new version of Housing Decisions incorporates an additional author, Carolyn Turner, who is an accomplished housing educator and researcher, and a revised and expanded section on the history of housing, house planning, construction, and the systems within a home. Most notably is the section on "A Safe and Attractive Environment," which addresses contemporary housing issues such as landscaping for conservation, keeping the home safe and secure, and maintaining the home.

The contents of this book reflect the nature of housing as a discipline within the field of family and consumer sciences by including information and principles from interior design, textiles, and household equipment. It also includes principles from other disciplines such as architecture, landscaping, and engineering. Starting with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and going through principles of design and construction, this book offers a very comprehensive approach to studying housing. It also has the potential for linking housing information with issues in child and family development and consumer economics. For example, how does the home environment, and the threats that may result from indoor air quality, affect a child's development? Or, how is financial management related to the information provided on the advantages and disadvantages of renting or buying a home, and determining what monthly housing payment a buyer could afford?

The 543-page textbook, is divided into six parts: Housing for You, Making Housing Choices, From the Ground Up, The Inside Story, A Safe and Attractive Environment, and Progress in Housing. These parts are divided into a total of 23 chapters that cover topics such as using decision-making skills, choosing a place to live, the evolution of exteriors, textiles in today's home, furniture styles and construction, windows, lighting, and accessories, selecting household equipment, the outdoor living space, and careers in housing. …