Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions.
No, you sit back and pay the conquered locals in tea and East India company scrip to build the houses while you sip beer and gin and tonics?
Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.
One of the problems of government fingers on the scales is how it changes the supply demand curve. How short of housing is the UK this year? Why is that?
We're very short of housing. One reason is the Councils being prevented, by law, from using the receipts from sales of Council houses and flats into building new public housing stock. The Conservative (yes, Conservative) government has just reversed that crappy decision (of theirs). Another reason is rich people (including foreign oligarchs) buying up properties and leaving them unoccupied - anti money laundering legislation is already having an impact on that. Yet another, in rural areas, is the wealthy buying up properties to use as holiday homes (have you tried buying a cottage in Padstow recently?) Another huge reason is planning controls. Yes, we need to protect open green spaces, particularly in the South East, but there are loads of brown field sites that everything possible should be done to encourage building on, both private and public sector. We could also do well to look at how other countries like the Netherlands, Denmark and Singapore cram really nice affordable living spaces into very restricted geographical areas, incorporating nature. There's a lot of work to be done here for sure.