The Brookings Institute Compares Rental Housing Strategies Around the World

The words apartment to let in five different languages

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has played havoc with that nation’s housing, as it has in most, if not all, other countries in the world. This is particularly true of rental housing, where tenants have been faced with job layoffs and loss and rising rental costs adding up to an uncertain future.

The Brookings Institute decided to explore solutions to some of the dilemmas that are facing its landlords and tenants by describing what five other advanced countries are doing to manage their rental crises.

Each has evolved political, legal and policy frameworks that can be very different from America’s. These countries also can have ingrained national attitudes to rental housing, particularly rent-geared-to income housing which may have state landlords, non-profit landlords, or other forms of rental housing ownership such as tenant cooperatives.

Needless to say, the evaluations that the Brookings Institute have commissioned for the five countries as they contrast with America’s own have an intrinsic value. They offer a great deal of useful information and insight for other countries as they fight their way through the thicket of  housing problems that have arisen during the last year.

Designed to be read before each of six in-depth articles is an introduction to rental housing in America and the five others, Germany, Spain, Japan, United Kingdom and France. It’s most significant purpose is to “highlight a few of the important lessons drawn from comparing the six countries.”

Following the introduction, each country, beginning with America, has an article dedicated to the advantages and disadvantages of their national approach to rental housing.

The first, the introduction, is: What The US Can Learn From Rental Housing 1


  1. Each of the subsequent programs can be accessed from the banner at the top of the Brookings Institute introductory program. The analysis in its seven separate components represents a considerable amount of information to swallow in one gulp. For those who may wish to nibble more slowly and might need a reminder, we’ll issue a reminder of the six subsequent segments, each on a following week.

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