During World II, about 61,000 buildings of all types were destroyed, including 35,400 dwellings. Housing was generally primitive in rural areas and poor elsewhere. After the war, housing continued to be a problem for a variety of reasons: primary emphasis on industrial construction, shortages of materials and skilled labor, and lack of or inadequate assistance for private building. Moreover, the increase of urban population worsened an already desperate situation. Consequently, new housing construction was concentrated in Tiranë, Vlorë, Elbasan, Shkodër, Durrës, and Korçë, as well as in other industrial and mining sites.
Nearly 29% of all housing currently available was built during the period from 1961-1980. According to the preliminary results of a 2001 census, there were about 520,936 residential buildings in the country containing about 783,640 dwellings. About 30% of the dwelling spaces were block flats constructed and owned by the government during the Communist era. Most public housing was privatized during the period from 1992–93. A 1998 Household Living Condition survey indicated that about 74% of rural households did not have an indoor toilet and 54% did not have access to running water. In comparison, 18% of urban households were without an indoor toilet and 5% lacked running water. The most common form of housing construction is a concrete frame filled with brick or block in-fill.