I see both sides of this issue. Rent to owns do provide buyers with a locked in price and the ability to make live in the home while credit is corrected. They do work sometimes but only if the buyer is committed to correcting the issue and buying. There are many pitfalls if it is not done correctly, however. Most people are better off renting, fixing their issues and then buying. Rent to owns have some pitfalls. You need to ensure that the seller can fulfill their obligation and not lose the house to foreclosure or short sale before you can buy it. You need to understand that the money you provide is nonrefundable - but you need to assure that it is held properly if you do your end of the bargain.
Realize that a rent to own will cost you more than a regular purchase - but not more than rent. Only do a rent to own if you have professionals - attorney and/or Realtor working for you. And make sure you fulfill your end of the deal or you will lose your down payment money.
I do have some rent to own homes in the south suburbs, if you are interested, please feel free to contact me.