Housing: Two related problems with the same solution, in poorer and richer countries

Problem 1: One billion people now live in slums
(see UN report: Poverty File, October 7, 2003
Problem 2: Skyrocketing prices of homes in most  countries are making it almost impossible for newly married people or poorer people to buy a home
Solution for both problems: governments develop/expand public housing, as in Hong Kong (whose government is the largest housing developer in the world)

Reason: Unless governments provide cheap public housing for the poor and for first time buyers, and  thereby keep home prices down, (greedy) market forces will continue to send prices skyrocketing. Even in developing countries, home prices are increasing rapidly because market forces in the private sector have no counter-ballance in the public sector

Latest articles on the above problems:

January 2004  - many reports in The Guardian - put "housing" in Guardian archive search