We are concerned with the interaction between government and market forces in both the formulation and execution of housing policy. The role of government is not, however, seen simply as one of 'intervention' but more broadly one which is a necessary precondition for, as well as a crucial influence on, market forces. In examining the options open to government we consider the varying institutional arrangements governing the management, allocation and financing of different types of renting in several countries. Description is inevitable in order that differences may be displayed. The structure of the descriptions does, however, promote some understanding and analysis of the various systems that are in place. There is a good deal of data in the book which is intended both to enhance descriptions and to assist analysis.