The symptoms are clear, but the cure will remain elusive until we recognise the many sources of the problem.
It is 2016 but, when it comes to housing, in many ways it could actually be 1891.
Thatcher's right to buy scheme had some unexpected consequences for society's most disadvantaged citizens.
Rocketing rents? Fierce protests against housing policies against the interests of the poor? Cereal Killer attacks have many predecessors - particularly Glasgow in 1915.
The budget contained some major housing reforms, but the chancellor had no answer to the sector's number-one problem.
Cameron's pledge may help some in social housing, but it offers no hope for everyone else who's locked out of the market.