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French Equivalent: Logement de base

A basic dwelling is a housing unit that has some but not all of the essential features of a conventional dwelling. It is a permanent structure or a part of a permanent structure, hence it may be a room or a suite of rooms in a permanent building but it is without some of the conventional dwelling facilities such as a kitchen, fixed bath or shower, piped water or toilet.In a number of countries or areas, a certain proportion of the housing inventory comprises such housing units which possess some but not all the characteristics of conventional dwellings.

With increased urbanization, the need for building lowcost housing units within the city limit has been developed. This housing most frequently consists of buildings containing a number of separate rooms whose occupants share some or all facilities (bathing, toilet or cooking facilities). Those units do not meet all the criteria of a conventional dwelling, especially from the point of view of maintaining health standards and privacy. Such a unit is known as a casa de palomar in Latin America.
Therefore, basic dwellings are more or less conventional from the point of view of permanency of structure but lack some of the housing facilities identified as essential (the four types being cooking facilities, bathing facilities, piped water and toilet).

Source Publication:
Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 1, United Nations, New York, 1998, para. 2.336
UN, Demographic and social statistics, Housing and its environment, Concepts and definations, paras. 2.320-2.365.


Statistical Theme: Demographic and population statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Wednesday, March 27, 2013