There are two main types of housing environments in the country: street district and housing complexes. Most of the street district housing was built before World War II and consists of private lots built to follow a street regulation plan. Beginning in the 1950s, housing complexes were built on public property, though the homes themselves are privately owned. Over 120 complexes have been built in the last fifty years, with a large number of prefab homes.
Although housing construction during 1976–85 averaged about 60,000 units per year, the housing shortage continues, especially in the larger cities, because of the influx into urban areas of new workers and because of the emphasis placed on capital construction. In 1975, to curb urban growth, the government instituted tight restrictions on new permits for residences in major cities. In December 1982, the Communist Party decreed that, in order to halt the growth of Sofia, a number of enterprises in the capital would be closed or moved elsewhere.
Capital investment for housing construction during 1976–80 amounted to Lv3.5 billion. At the end of 1985 there were 3,092,000 dwelling units in the country, 24% more than in 1975; by 1991, this figure had risen to 3,406,000. The number of new houses built plummeted from 62,926 in 1988 to 40,154 in 1989, 26,200 in 1990, and 19,423 in 1991.