What incentive do private institutions have to offer more affordable housing? None that I'm aware of. We need government subsidies so that businesses can remain competitive. Once people have the chance to get on their feet, they'll have more spending power to contribute to the economy. My personal experience is that I am paying $1,000 just for rent (that is, not including utilities and other bills) living by myself in Oregon wine country. I make more than minimum wage working full-time, but I wouldn't say I'm comfortable, what with the high cost of rent and repaying $60k in student loan debt (again, by myself). I can't imagine how difficult it must be for someone with less of an advantage than I have.