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This article examines the government efforts to respond to affordable housing issues and summarizes the criticisms of these policies and programs. The author focuses on the privatization movement which pushes for a reduction in government participation in public housing activities in order to transfer control and responsibility to the private sector. The article also reviews European policies such as the concept of social housing. The article stresses that careful attention must be paid to the privatization mechanisms selected and emphasizes that shared expectations, shared values, and shared commitment can bring about a successful affordable housing strategy. The article describes some current models of affordable housing in both urban and suburban areas, using examples from St. Louis and other cities. Much of the article attempts to answer the question concerning the appropriate role of the government in securing affordable and decent housing for its citizens.

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