Although housing projects have been constructed in Port-au-Prince and in Cap-Haïtien, there is an increasing shortage of low-cost housing. Migration to the major cities has compounded the urban housing problem. Natural disaster including cyclones, floods, droughts, and earthquake have had serious effects on the housing situation as well. Outside the capital and some other cities, housing facilities are generally primitive and almost universally without sanitation. Wooden huts are the prevalent standard for the countryside.
By presidential decree, the National Housing Office was established in 1966. Housing built in the 1970s in Port-au-Prince for about 18,000 people merely replaced demolished units. A new cooperative project, supervised by the National Housing Office and financed by UNDP, was initiated in 1979 in St. Martin, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Housing construction is reported to have proceeded at a steady pace since that time. According to the latest available information, total housing units numbered 890,000, with 6.1 people per dwelling.