The Economist reports that the UK has quietly moved towards a new way of housing the poorest:
In the past few years, an increasing proportion [of homeless] have been biding their time in private housing, most of it arranged by local authorities but some leased directly from landlords. Tenants pay rent and recoup the outlay through housing benefit. That is, in some ways, an excellent solution. Private housing is both more flexible than social housing and more dispersed: pockets of deprivation like those found on council estates are less likely to emerge.
Of course, as with many public-private initiatives, the proper alignment of incentives still needs work – some claiming that the current structure actually creates a disincentive for entering the formal workforce.