One long-forgotten housing option is residential hotels; a century ago, most renters lived in hotels and shared space with short-term tenants. I just read a book, Living Downtown, about the rise and fall of residential hotels. Rather than discuss them in detail I refer you to my amazon.com review.
But here are two general thoughts:
- one reason Airbnb has been controversial is because it mixes long-term and short-term tenants. But in the first half of the 20th century this was a common mixture.
- Until the 1920s, residential hotels were so unregulated that they included a wide range of places, from luxury hotels to vile flophouses where there was not even a mattress to sleep on. But this mixture allowed even tramps to avoid sleeping on streets as they do now.