The more means of abstraction to the service required, the more you're handing things to the middlemen. We don't want to cut checks to let everyone buy without price controls, otherwise the market will respond as if everyone's richer and just price accordingly. If you do price controls, that's extra regulation and besides the point.
What ought to be happening is a new homestead act; there are far more foreclosed buildings held by crooked banks than homeless people. Seems to me they should be dissolved, and the homes doled out - people who don't have to scramble for survival will be able to do far more productive things with their time.
Landlord profits are a lousy thing to optimise for. They're not in it to have the most energy efficient, well-made, forward-thinking homes. They're not in it to sell just enough. They're going for maximum profit. Doesn't our civilization have better things to do than let people who own far more than they personally need control things?