The Barbados Housing Authority is empowered to acquire land, construct housing projects, and redevelop overcrowded areas. Rising land costs continues to be a hindrance to new home construction, but since 1996, the government has been looking at new ways to help private owners finance land and home purchases. Also since 1996, the government has inititated a new building code to improve existing structures, particularly focusing on renovations that may prevent destruction from hurricaines.
At last estimate, 90% of all housing consisted of detached homes and more than 5% of apartments. Over 70% of all homes were owner occupied; more than 15% were rented privately; 5% were occupied rent free; another 5% were rented from the government; and less than 5% were occupied by squatters or otherwise specified.