HOUSING refers to a wide range of related terms. These include housing tenure, residential real estate, condominium, apartment and townhouse properties. All of these provide shelter from the elements and provide a place to live. There are different types of housing: hosiery, studio, one room, mobile homes, manufactured homes, pre-fabricated homes, single-family residences, condominiums and apartments buildings. More specifically, housing, also known as more commonly, residential real estate, refers to the arrangement and assigned use of homes or other structures collectively, for the primary purpose of housing individuals either as occupants or purchasers, for the express purpose of sheltering individuals from the elements.
In most developed countries, housing developments take the form of townhouses in the urban areas and multi-unit residences in the suburbs. They can be row homes, bungalows, apartments, condominiums or apartment buildings. The main distinguishing feature of any of these is that they are privately owned units or buildings. They can be designed as individually as desired but, if desired, can be arranged into groups of adjacent units, often designated as villages or slums. The tenants in such housing developments belong to the community, often living under one roof and benefiting from collective facilities such as schools, hospitals and healthcare facilities.
The term ‘housing project’ encompasses a lot of diverse housing options. They can be categorised, in accordance with their location and function, into ten, six, four, three and two-storey buildings. The main article or topic of discussion, for this paper, is that of apartments. It can be safely assumed that the vast majority of inhabitants who occupy apartments reside in the metropolitan cities, where the vast majority of developments have been built in built-up areas.
Of the many types of housing available in countries with a low-income group, apartments are probably the most common. Regardless of their type, apartments are usually offered by either a private company or by a local government body, either for profit or for the public good. Some private companies construct housing developments for profit as well as for the provision of low-income housing, while others may be solely or predominantly governmental. The latter tend to receive subsidies from the government in return for meeting certain criteria, including a target percentage of low-income population.
Although most housing projects in developed countries tend to be located in urban areas, there are a few exceptions. For example, the Australian Capital Region, which is home to most of the country’s independent housing projects, is home to a large number of small rural communities that have, until recently, been poorly served by the regional state housing program. These communities have been left out of the traditional home-buyer programs because they tend to be remote and isolated. It may be that these rural communities would have benefited more from a home-buyer’s program, even if it were not for the existence of the independent housing programs. Regardless of whether the governments of Australia provide subsidies or not, it seems likely that many residents of these rural communities would prefer to live in an apartment, rather than a house, as an alternative to living in a traditional community.
A major problem with relying on government-provided housing is that the majority of tenants prefer apartments over houses, due to a lack of available rental housing. However, with so many people who prefer apartments, it is difficult for housing providers to keep up with the demand. It is for this reason that a growing number of home-owners are now taking steps to purchase their own apartment buildings, either in town or on the outskirts of their city. Whether they are new homeowners looking to buy a home that is within walking distance of their office, or already own a building that they have used as rental accommodation, these homeowners are realizing that owning their own flats gives them a lot more flexibility than they had when renting flats.