DEFINITION of 'Housing Unit'
One of a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms or single room, which are occupied or intended as separate living quarters. The separate living quarters that define a housing unit are those where the occupants live and eat separately from other residents in the structure or building, and have direct access from the building's exterior or through a common hallway.
BREAKING DOWN 'Housing Unit'
The U.S. Bureau of the Census may consider your residence to have multiple housing units if more than one family occupies it. For example, if you occupy the main floor of a dwelling and your sister and her children occupy the basement, the Census would consider your house to constitute two housing units. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 131.7 million housing units in the nation, of which 25.9% were in multi-unit structures.