The government has spent well over D 1 billion on workers' housing. Since the mid-1960s, trade unions have provided new housing for members. Financial assistance to needy homeowners is provided by a national housing fund. Residential rents were frozen by the government in early 1983. As of 1984, 71% of housing units were traditional structures, or "dar," 14% were "villas" (detached homes), 9% were the squatter homes called "gourli," and 5% were apartments. In the same year, 79% of all dwellings were owner occupied, 13% were rented, and 9% were occupied rent free.
In 2001, the Ministry of Housing announced that the amount of available housing had exceeded the number of families by about 13% and that there had been a decrease in slums by about 1.2%. However, squatter communities, called gourbvilles, are still prevalent in urban regions.