In recent years, almost daily media attention has been focused on the plight of the homeless in cities across the United States. Drawing upon experiences in the U.S. and Europe, John Gilderbloom and Richard Appelbaum challenge conventional assumptions concerning the operation of housing markets and provide policy alternatives directed at the needs of low- and moderate-income families. Rethinking Rental Housing is a ground-breaking analysis that shows the value of applying a broad sociological approach to urban problems, one that takes into account the basic economic, social, and political dimensions of the urban housing crisis.
Gilderbloom and Appelbaum predict that this crisis will worsen in the 1990s and argue that a "supply and demand" approach will not work in this case because housing markets are not competitive. They propose that the most effective approach to affordable housing is to provide non-market alternatives fashioned after European housing programs, particularly the Swedish model.
An important feature of this book is the discussion of tenant movements that have tried to implement community values in opposition to values of development and landlord capital. One of the very few publications on rental housing, it is unique in applying a sociological framework to the study of this topic.