People and Their Housing
Housing – as the word is used in this text, means any
dwelling that provides shelter.
Housing is your Near Environment, a small and
distinct part of the total environment in which you live
Your total environment includes all your interactions
with people and buildings as well as different
geographical areas outside your dwelling place,
neighborhood, and local community.
Housing affects your actions, and in turn, your actions
affect your housing.
For example, if you live in a small
apartment, you will not be able to
host large parties.
You will not have enough room, and
your neighbors might complain
about the noise.
However, if you want to host large
parties, you might choose to live in a
large house that is set apart from
Meeting Needs Through Housing
Needs – are the basic requirements that people must
have filled in order to live.
All people have physical, psychological, and other
They share the need for shelter in which to eat, sleep,
and carry on daily living activities.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow prioritized human
needs into a pyramid, as each type of need is met, you
progress up the pyramid to the next level.
Physical Needs – the most basic human needs.
They have priority over other needs because they are
essential for survival.
Physical needs include shelter, food, water, and rest.
They are sometimes called basic needs or primary
The need for shelter and protection from the weather
has always been met by a dwelling of some type.
Archeologists are social scientists who study ancient
cultures by unearthing dwelling places of past
Archeological findings reveal how ancient structures
were made and used, and how they met the need for
shelter – a basic universal need.
Earliest Dwellings: Pueblo
The earliest dwellings were
in natural settings, such as
caves and overhanging
The Pueblo Native
adobe, which is a building
material made of sun-dried
earth and straw.
They also used rafters made
from native materials.
Earliest Dwellings: Apache
Apache Native Americans
built houses from tree
Their houses offered
protection from the
scorching sun, while
cooling breezes circulate
through the branches.
Earliest Dwellings: Nomads
Some tribes throughout the
world called nomads
periodically move their
residences depending on
weather, available farmland,
and other factors.
A yurt is a portable hut made
of several layers of felt covered
These huts are use din
summer as the people move to
more fertile areas.
Food and Water
In the past, people located their housing near sources
of food and water.
Today, areas within dwellings are set aside storing,
preparing, and eating food.
However, people still like to prepare food and eat
Once the basic physical needs
are met, people strive to meet
the psychological needs, which
are higher on Maslow’s
pyramid of human needs.
Psychological needs are needs
related to the mind and
feelings that must be met in
order to live a satisfying life.
Housing provides security
from the outside world.
It offers protection from
physical danger and the
It helps you feel safe and
Living in a dwelling that is well
built and locate din an area
from from crime can help you
Love and Acceptance
Housing affects your feelings of being
loved and accepted.
If you have your own bedroom or
private place, you know that others
care about you.
They have accepted you as a person
who has needs.
When you are assigned household
chores, it is because you have been
accepted as part of a group.
You need to feel esteem, or the
respect, admiration, and high regard
Your housing tells other people
something about you and can help
you gain esteem.
You also need self-esteem, awareness
and appreciation of your own worth.
Living in a pleasant, satisfying home
can help you gain self-esteem.
When you meet the need for self-actualization, you
have developed to your full potential as a person.
You have become the best you can be, and you are
doing what you do best.
For self-actualizing people, housing is more than a
place to live.
It is the place where each person can progress towards
becoming what he or she is capable of being.
Other Needs Met Through Housing
Recognizing the levels of human
needs as described by Maslow can
help you understand how
important needs are in relation to
Beauty, self-expression, and
creativity are also important
They can be achieved through
your housing decisions.
Beauty is the quality or
qualities that give pleasure
to the senses.
What is beautiful to you
may not be beautiful to
An appreciation of beauty
develops over time as
exposure to it increases.
Showing your true personality and taste is called self-
expression, evident when you choose colors to decorate your
Those colors are often a clue to your personality.
For example, if you have an outgoing, vibrant personality, you
might show it by using bright, bold colors inside your house.
Creativity is the ability to
It can be described as
combining two or more
things or ideas into a new
whole that as beauty or
Your housing provides
opportunities for you to
express your creativity.
Factors Affecting Housing Choices
There are many factors
that influence choices in
These include person
needs, costs, roles, and
Personal priorities are strong beliefs or ideas about
what is important.
When you choose something freely and take action on
that choice, you are acting on a personal priority.
All personal priorities you hold, such as
family, friendship, money, status, religion, and
independence, form your personal-priority system.
Whenever you decide between two or more
choices, you use your personal-priority system.
How Needs and Personal Priorities
Your needs and personal priorities
are closely related.
For example, you need a place to
A cot can satisfy this need.
However, the cot may not meet your
priority for comfort.
If you have a choice, your personal
priority for comfort may cause you
to choose a bed with a mattress
instead of the cot.
People have spatial needs.
While too much space can make people feel lonely,
they need a certain amount of space around them to
avoid feeling crowded.
They way space is used also influences the amount
that is needed.
In places where space cannot be added or removed, the
right furnishings can make the space seem larger or
People need privacy to
maintain good mental
Sometimes they need to be
completely alone, where
others cannot see or hear
what they are doing.
A chair that is set apart
from other furnishings in a
room can create privacy.
Decisions in families that value relationships are made
to benefit all family members, not just some.
A family is two or more people living together who are
related by birth, marriage, or adoption.
When concern for family relationships is an important
personal priority, several areas of the house can be
designed for group living.
For most people, the cost of
housing is an important factor
in making housing decisions.
Whether people rent or buy
housing, it costs money.
When money is very
limited, people choose
dwellings that provide just
enough space for their needs.
Roles are patterns of behavior that people display in their
homes, the workplace, and their communities.
Examples are: wife, mother, sister, co-worker, teacher,
hospital volunteer, etc.
The roles people have can affect the type of housing they
choose and the way the housing is used.
To fulfill the role of student, a home needs a quiet area for
The role of wage earner can also impact housing choices.
A lawyer may work from home, needing an office for working
and a seating area for greeting clients.
Housing Needs Vary
On almost a daily basis, you can be sure of change.
Life situations and circumstances cause change and
affect they way you live.
In group housing, people generally are not related.
Retirement complexes and college residence halls, are
some common examples.
The occupants live in separate units within the group
People in residential dwellings, on the other hand, are
usually related to each other.
The most common residential
dwelling is a household.
A household is a group of
people sharing the same
The size of a household can
vary, but most households
There are five basic types of
This family includes
couples and their
The children are either
born into the family or
None of the children are
from a previous marriage.
These families consist of
a child (or children) and
only one parent, often
because a parent has died
or left home.
families consist of a
never-married adult with
one or more children.
This family consists of
parents, one or both of
whom have been married
The family also includes
one or more children from
a previous marriage.
These families consist of a
husband and wife who have
not had children.
For some couples this is a
temporary condition, delaying
the arrival of children until
their finances improve.
For others, they may be unable
to have children or chooses to
remain childless, for whatever
There a two basic types of extended
families, which are formed by
adding one or more relatives to a
household already identified.
One type consists of several
generations of a family, such as
children, parents, and
The second type of extended family
consists of members from the same
generation, such as brothers,
sisters, and cousins.
Single Person Household
The smallest household is a
household, which consists of
one person living alone in
That person may be
someone who has never
married or whose marriage
has ended because of the
loss of a spouse through
death, desertion, or divorce.
Life cycles are another way to view your housing needs.
A life cycle is a series of stages through which an
individual or family passes during its lifetime.
In each stage, you have new opportunities and face
Individual Life Cycle
Each person follows a pattern of development called
an individual life cycle
It is divided according to age groups into the following
Each stage can be divided into sub stages.
Family Life Cycle
Just as you have a place in
an individual life cycle,
your family has its place
in the family life cycle.
A family life cycle has six
In addition, one or more
sub stages may exist
within each stage.
The beginning stage is
the early period of the
marriage when the
couple is without
The husband and wife
make adjustments to
married life and to each
The childbearing stage is the time when the family is
It includes the childbearing periods and the years of
caring for preschoolers.
The parenting stage
occurs when the children
are in school.
This stage includes the
years of caring for school-
age children and
The launching stage is the time when the children
become adults and leave their parents’ house.
They may leave to go to college, take a job, or get
The midyears stage is the time between when the
children leave home and the parents retire.
When all the children have left home, the couple is
The aging stage begins
Usually, at some point in
this stage, one spouse
lives alone after the death
of the other.
As people live longer, the
length of this stage
Life cycles and Housing Needs
As you move from one stage or sub stage of a life cycle
to another, your housing needs change.
Therefore, you should consider what stage or sub stage
of the life cycles you are in as you plan your housing.
If you think about both your present and future needs,
your housing can help you live the kind of life you
Housing and The Quality of Life
Quality of life is the degree
of satisfaction obtained
Housing is considered
“good” when it provides
people with satisfying
surroundings that can
improve their quality of
Personal Quality of Life
Quality of life is important to you as
Your idea of an improved quality of
life may not appeal to someone else.
Your housing environment helps you
meet your needs and personal
It also adds satisfaction to your life
and, therefore, improves the quality
of your life.
Quality of Life for Society
The future of a society depends on individuals and
groups who work to make life better for everyone.
Some of the work is social in nature.
People must also work together and use their resources
of time, money, and energy to maintain and support
Examples of such surroundings are well-kept buildings
and natural landscapes.
Human ecology the study of people and their
environment, is the focus of considerable research.
People are concerned about the problems caused by
pollutants entering streams, lakes, and underground
Instead of wishing for the good old days to
return, people must move forward to find solutions
for today’s problems.