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Detroit has historically had an undersupply of rental housing. If you read Sugrue's Orgins of the Urban Crisis, you can get a good grasp of how little rental property has always been in the city. This led to subleasing and conversion of homes into rentals, which accelerated the deterioration of many neighborhoods from the 1950s on. The severe lack of cheap housing in the 1960s was a factor in the riots/rebellion as well as in WSU's plans to build lots of student housing in their proposed Urban renewal projects in conjunction with the Detroit Olympic bids. (Ironically they razed tons of apartments and never rebuilt them.) -JD Whiting [The Apartment Seeker's Headache]