Overcrowding is a problem on New Providence, and adequate low-cost housing is in short supply. At last estimate, some 70% of housing units were detached houses, nearly 15% were apartments, and more than 10% were single attached dwellings. Over 50% of all homes were stone, concrete and/or brick and over 30% were wood. The Bahamas Housing Authority was established by the government in 1983, with a mandate to develop housing for low-income people.
To encourage construction of new homes in remote areas the government has waived customs duties on building materials to less developed islands. As of 2001, the government had also launched a "new birth" program to renovate dwellings in traditioanl communities and to create new housing in urban centers, particularly for low or middle-class residents. Churches, businesses, and other organizations have been called on to find ways to provide shelter for low-income families, women, and children. The government has also sponsored housing projects for senior citizens and the disabled.