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Multi-family residential (also known as multi-dwelling unit or MDU) is a classification of
housing Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to the construction and assigned usage of houses or buildings collectively, for the purpose of sheltering people — the planning or provision delivered by an authority, with related meanings. Ens ...

housing
where multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants are contained within one building or several buildings within one complex. Units can be next to each other (side-by-side units), or stacked on top of each other (top and bottom units). A common form is an
apartment building An apartment (American English), or flat (British English, Indian English), is a self-contained housing unit (a type of residential real estate) that occupies only part of a building, generally on a single story. There are many names for ...
. Many
intentional communities An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual ...
incorporate multifamily residences, such as in
cohousing Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. The term originated in Denmark in late 1960s. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically ...
projects. Sometimes units in a multifamily residential building are
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
s, where typically the units are owned individually rather than leased from a single apartment building owner.


Examples

*
Apartment building An apartment (American English), or flat (British English, Indian English), is a self-contained housing unit (a type of residential real estate) that occupies only part of a building, generally on a single story. There are many names for ...
or block of flats - a
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
with multiple apartments. There can be multiple apartments on each floor and there are often multiple floors. Apartment buildings can range in many sizes, some with only a few apartments, other with hundreds of apartments on many floors, or any size in between. There are often inside hallways and inside entrances to each apartment, but outside entrances to each apartment are also possible. An apartment building can be owned by one party and each of the apartments
rented Renting, also known as hiring or letting, is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlord pays for al ...
to tenants or each of the apartments can be owned as a
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
by separate parties. *Mixed use building - a building with space for both commercial, business, or office use, and space for residential use. Possible arrangements include the commercial/business use on the first or first couple floors and one or more apartments or residential spaces on the upper floors. Another possibility is to have the commercial/business area up front and the residential area in the back. Some or maybe all of the space may be used by the owner or some or all the business and residential units may be leased by the owner. Condominium ownership is also possible. *Apartment community - a collection of apartment buildings on adjoining pieces of land, generally owned by one entity. The buildings often share common grounds and amenities, such as pools, parking areas, and a community clubhouse, used as leasing offices for the community. *
Brownstone , just south of 125th Street (2004) Brownstone is a brown Triassic–Jurassic sandstone that was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a townhouse clad in this or any other aesthetically similar ...
: a
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
term for a rowhouse: see rowhouse. *
Bedsit A bedsit, bedsitter, or bed-sitting room is a form of accommodation common in some parts of the United Kingdom which consists of a single room per occupant with all occupants typically sharing a bathroom. Bedsits are included in a legal category o ...
: a British expression (short for bed-sitting room) for a single-roomed dwelling in a sub-divided larger house. The standard type contains a kitchenette or basic cooking facilities in a combined bedroom/living area, with a separate bathroom and lavatory shared between a number of rooms. Once common in older Victorian properties in British cities, they are less frequently found since the 1980s as a result of tenancy reforms, property prices and renovation grants that favour the refurbishment of such properties into self-contained flats for leasehold sale. * Close: Term used in Glasgow for high density
slum A slum is usually a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons.< ...
housing built 1800-1870. Tenements usually 3 or 4 stories, terraced, back-to-back, around a short cul-de-sac. * Cluster house: an older form of the Q-type house (see below) *
Condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
: a form of ownership with individual apartments for everyone, and co-ownership (by percentages) of all of the common areas, such as corridors, hallways, stairways, lobbies, recreation rooms, porches, rooftops, and any outdoor areas of the grounds of the buildings. Townhouses and apartments which are owned in the condominium form of ownership are often referred to as "condominiums" or "condos." * Court: high density slum housing built in the UK, 1800-1870. Two or more stories, terraced, back-to-back, around a short alley at right angles to the main street. Once common in cities like Liverpool and Leeds. *
Deck access '' high-rise building in Kalasatama, Helsinki A high-rise building is a tall building, as opposed to a low-rise building and is defined differently in terms of height depending on the jurisdiction. It is used as a residential, office building, ...
: a block of "flats" which are accessed from a walkway that is open to the elements. *
Dingbat In typography, a dingbat (sometimes more formally known as a printer's ornament or printer's character) is an ornament, a glyph (roughly, character) or spacer used in typesetting, often employed to create box frames (similar to box-drawing cha ...
(apartment building style) *
Duplex Duplex (from Latin ''duplex'', "double, two-fold"), may refer to: People * Edward Duplex, a nineteenth-century African-American pioneer Locations * Duplex, Tennessee, an unincorporated community in the United States * Duplex, Texas, an unincorpor ...
(
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
), Two-flat (
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
) - a building commonly built on an edgeyard lot, consisting either of two residences, one to a storey, or a pair of semi-detached dwellings of one or several stories each. Common spaces shared by both residences may include a
basement A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are completely or partly below the ground floor. It generally is used as a utility space for a building, where such items as the boiler, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, c ...
,
foyer A lobby is a room in a building used for entry from the outside. Sometimes referred to as a foyer, reception area or an entrance hall, it is often a large room or complex of rooms (in a theatre, opera house, concert hall, showroom, cinema, etc.) a ...
, stairwell, or
porch A porch (from Old French ''porche'', from Latin ''porticus'' "colonnade", from ''porta'' "passage") is a room or gallery located in front of an entrance of a building. A porch is placed in front of the facade of a building it commands, and forms ...
. * Flat: In Great Britain and parts of Ireland, this means exactly the same as an "apartment". In and around
San Francisco, CA San Francisco (/ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish for "Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern California. San Francisco is the 16th most populous city in ...
, this term means an apartment that takes up an entire floor of a large house, usually one that has been converted from an older
Victorian house Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature * ...
. In Ireland, the use of the term "flat" generally implies an apartment which is smaller or of lesser value, while the term apartment is used for larger privately owned dwellings. * 2-Flat, 3-Flat, and 4-Flat houses: houses or buildings with 2, 3, or 4 flats, respectively, especially when each of the flats takes up one entire floor of the house. There is a common stairway in the front and often in the back providing access to all the flats. 2-Flats and sometimes 3-flats are common in certain older neighborhoods. * Four Plus One: an apartment building consisting of four stories above a parking lot. The four floors containing the apartment units are of wood-frame and masonry construction. It was particularly popular in
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivisio ...

Chicago
during the 1960s and 1970s, especially on the city's north side. * Garage-apartment: an apartment over a garage; if the garage is attached, the apartment will have a separate entrance from the main house. * Garlow: a portmanteau word "garage" + "bungalow"; similar to a garage-apartment, but with the apartment and garage at the same level. * Garden apartment: a building style usually characterized by two-story, semi-detached buildings, each floor being a separate apartment. * Garden flat: a flat which is at garden (ground) level in a multilevel house or apartment building, especially in the case of Georgian and Victorian terraced housing which has been sub-divided into separate dwellings. *
Housing cooperative 325px, 999 N. Lake Shore Drive, a co-op owned residential building in Chicago, Illinois ">Illinois.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Chicago, Illinois">Chicago, Illinois A housing cooperative or a housing co-op, ...
(or Co-op): a form of ownership in which a non-profit corporation owns the entire apartment building or development and residents own shares in the corporation that correspond to their apartment and a percentage of common areas. In Australia this corresponds with a "company title" apartment. *
Loft The Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT) is a proposed ESA space mission originally slated to launch around 2022, and now proposed to launch around 2025. The mission will be devoted to the study of neutron stars, black holes and other compact ...
or warehouse conversion can be an apartment building wherein part of the unit, usually consisting of the bedroom(s) and/or a second bedroom level bath is sub-divided vertically within the structurally tall bay between the structural floors of a former factory or warehouse building. The lofts created in such are locally supported by
column A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. In other words, a column is a compression member. T ...
s and
bearing wallA load-bearing wall or bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. Load-bearing walls are one of the earl ...
s and not part of the overall original load bearing structure. * Maisonette: an apartment / flat on two levels with internal stairs, or which has its own entrance at street level. * Mess: a building or flat with single bedroom per tenant and shared facilities like toilets and kitchens. These are popular with students, bachelors or low wage earners in the Indian subcontinent. It is similar to the bedsit in the UK. Some variants include multiple tenants per bedroom and inclusion of a centralized maid service or cooked meals with tenancy. * Mother-in-law apartment: small apartment either at the back, in the basement, or on an upper level subdivision of the main house, usually with a separate entrance (also known as a "
Granny flat Secondary suites, or accessory dwelling units, ADUs, or in-law apartments, are self-contained apartments, cottages, or small residential units, that are located on a property that has a separate main, single-family home, duplex, or other residentia ...
" in the
UK The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixt ...

Australia
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 smaller islands, covering a total area of . New Zealand ...
and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
). If it is a separate structure from the main house, it is called a 'granny cottage' or a 'doddy house'. Such Secondary suites are often efficiency or two room apartments but always have kitchen facilities (which is usually a legal requirement of any apartment). *
Microapartment A microapartment, also known as a microflat, is a one-room, self-contained living space, usually purpose built, designed to accommodate a sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom and kitchenette with 14–32 square metres (150–350 sq ft). Unlike a ...
: rather common in the same countries where microhouses (above) are popular. These small single-room dwellings contain a kitchen, a bathroom, a sleeping area, etc., in one place, usually in a multistorey building. * Officetel: small apartment providing a combined work and living area in one place, especially in South Korea. * One-plus-five: a mid-rise apartment or condominium building consisting of four or five wood-framed floors above a concrete podium. This type of construction exploded in popularity in North American cities in the 2010s. * Penthouse apartment, Penthouse: the top floor of multi-story building * Plattenbau (German Democratic Republic, East German) / Panelák (Czech Republic, Czech, Slovakia, Slovak): a communist-era tower block that is made of slabs of concrete put together. * Q-type: townhouse built mainly in housing estates in the UK beginning in the late 20th century. The houses are arranged in blocks of four with each house at a corner of the block. Similar to the earlier cluster house (see above). * Railroad apartment (or railroad flat): a type of apartment in which rooms are directly linked, without hallway separation, similar to a line of railroad cars. * Rooming house: a type of Single Room Occupancy building where most washing, kitchen and laundry facilities are shared between residents, which may also share a common suite of living rooms and dining room, with or without board arrangements. When board is provided (no longer common), a common dining time and schedule is imposed by the landlord who in such cases also serves as an innkeeper of sorts. In Australia and the United States, any housing accommodation with 4 or more bedrooms can be regarded as a rooming house if each bedroom is subject to individual tenancy agreements. In the U.S., rooming house lease agreements typically run for very short periods, usually week to week, or a few days at a time. Transient housing arrangements for longer term tenancies are implemented by a "rider" on a case by case basis, if local laws permit. * Rowhouse (USA); also called "Terraced home" (USA); also called "Townhouse": 3 or more houses in a row sharing a "party" wall with its adjacent neighbour. In
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
, "''
Brownstone , just south of 125th Street (2004) Brownstone is a brown Triassic–Jurassic sandstone that was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a townhouse clad in this or any other aesthetically similar ...
s''" are rowhouses. Rowhouses are typically multiple stories. The term townhouse is currently coming into wider use in the UK, but terraced house (not "terraced home") is more common. * Shophouse: the name given in Southeast Asia to a terraced two to five story urban building featuring a shop or other public activity on the street level, with residential accommodation on upper floors. * Single Room Occupancy or SRO: a studio apartment, usually occurring with a block of many similar apartments, intended for use as public housing. They may or may not have their own washing, laundry, and kitchen facilities. In the United States, lack of kitchen facilities prevents use of the term "apartment", so such would be classified as a boarding house or hotel. * Six-pack: in New England (USA), this refers to a stick-built block of 6 apartments comprising (duplexed) two three story #Triple decker, Triple deckers built side by side sharing one wall, a common roof, lot, yards (lawns and gardens, if any), parking arrangements, and basement, but possessing separately metered electric, and separate hot water and heating or air conditioning. In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixt ...

Australia
, it refers to a style of apartments that were constructed during the 1960s, 70s and early 80s, usually comprising a single, masonry-built block containing 4 to 8 walk-up apartments (though sometimes, many more), of between 2 and 3 stories in height, with car parking at the side or rear. *Semi-detached - one building consisting of two separate "houses", typically side by side, each with separate entrances and typically without common inside areas. Each of the two houses typically has separate owners. * Studio apartment or Studio flat (UK), or Bachelor apartment or Efficiency apartment: a suite with a single room that doubles as living/sitting room and bedroom, with a kitchenette and bath squeezed in off to one side. The unit is designed for a single occupant or possibly a couple. Especially in Canada and South Africa, also called ''bachelor'', or ''bachelorette'' if very small. * Tenement: a multi-unit dwelling usually of frame construction, quite often brick veneered, made up of several (generally many more than four to six) apartments (i.e. a large apartment building) that can be up to five stories. Tenements do not generally have elevators. In the United States the connotation sometimes implies a run-down or poorly cared-for building. It often refers to a very large apartment building usually constructed during the late 19th to early 20th century era sited in cities or company towns. Image:Terrace on Lloyd Street South in Moss Side, Manchester.jpg, 250px, Example of late Victorian architecture, Victorian terrace in Moss Side, Manchester, UK. * Terraced house: since the late 18th century is a style of housing where (generally) identical individual houses are conjoined into rows - a line of houses which abut directly on to each other built with shared party walls between dwellings whose uniform fronts and uniform height created an ensemble that was more stylish than a "''rowhouse''". However this is also the UK term for a "rowhouse" regardless of whether the houses are identical or not. ** Back-to-back houses, Back-to-back: terraced houses which also adjoin a second terrace to the rear. They were a common form of housing for workers during the Industrial Revolution in England. * Tower block or Apartment tower: a high-rise
apartment building An apartment (American English), or flat (British English, Indian English), is a self-contained housing unit (a type of residential real estate) that occupies only part of a building, generally on a single story. There are many names for ...
. * Townhouse: also called Rowhouse (US). In the UK, a townhouse is a traditional term for an upper-class house in London (in contrast with country house), and is now coming into use as a term for new terraced houses, which are often three or more stories tall and may include a garage on the ground floor. ** Stacked townhouse: units are stacked on each other; units may be multilevel; all units have direct access from the outside. * Three family home or Three family house: U.S. real estate and advertising term for several configurations of apartment classed dwelling buildings including: ** Triple decker: a three-family apartment house, usually of frame construction, in which all three apartment units are stacked on top of one another. (For additional characteristics, also see #Multifamily home features, Multifamily home features below.) * Triplex (
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
), Three-flat (
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
) - a building similar to a duplex except there are three stories. Two-flat and possibly three-flat buildings are rather common in certain older neighborhoods in certain cities. *Townhouse - a house attached to any number of other townhouses each of which may have multiple floors, commonly side by side each with their own separate entrances. Each such house has its own owner. * Two decker: a two family house consisting of stacked apartments that frequently have similar or identical floor plans. Some two deckers, usually ones starting as single-family homes, have one or both floors sub-divided and are therefore three or four-family dwellings. Some have external stairways giving a totally separate entrance, and some, usually those which have been a single-family house now sub-divided, are similar to the ''Maisonette'' plan but sharing a common external 'main entrance' door and lock, and a main internal hall with stairways letting to the separate apartments. (For additional characteristics, also see #Multifamily home features, Multifamily home features below.) * Tyneside flat: a pair of single-storey flats in a two-storey terrace, distinctively with two separate front doors to the street rather than a shared lobby. Notably found on Tyneside, North Eastern England. * Quadplex (
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
), Four-flat (
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
) - a building similar to a three-flat except there are four flats. In some cases, the arrangement of apartments may be different and the lot size may be larger than that of a regular house. * Tong Lau(唐樓 / 騎樓): a type of shophouse found in southern China and old parts of Hong Kong. It has shops on the first floor, no basement, no garage and about 3-4 floors. It had to be short for the Tong Laus in Hong Kong is very close to the old Kai Tak airport, but it is now a cruise terminal and newer and higher buildings have sprung up there. The government has also been destroying the old Tong Laus and rebuilding. * "Toothpick Apartments": a type of apartment about 10-20 stories high and usually has one flat on each story. It is very thin, and surrounded by many other shorter buildings (Tong Lau), therefore nicknamed "Toothpick Apartments". They exist in Hong Kong, and are mostly private apartments. They have about 1-3 levels of car parks. * Unit (housing), Unit: a type of Medium-density housing found in Australia and New Zealand. * Vatara: a housing complex, mainly found in urban Karnataka, India, similar to an apartment complex, but with mostly two stories and homes in a row on each floor.


See also

*Cohousing


References

{{Authority control Planned residential developments Residential condominiums, House types