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A condominium building in Bethesda, Maryland.

Multifamily residential, also known as multidwelling unit (MDU)) is a classification of housing where multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants are contained within one building or several buildings within one complex.[1] Units can be next to each other (side-by-side units), or stacked on top of each other (top and bottom units). Common forms include apartment building and condominium, where typically the units are owned individually rather than leased from a single building owner. Many intentional communities incorporate multifamily residences, such as in cohousing projects.[2]

Housing units in multifamily housing have greater per capita value than single family homes.[3] Multifamily housing has beneficial fiscal externalities, as their presence reduces property tax rates in the community.[3]


Before the Industrial Revolution, such examples were rare, existing only in historical urban centers. In Ancient Rome, these were called insulae, skyscrapers in Shibam,[4] malice houses in Madrid, and casbah in the Casbah of Algiers.


Studio apartment layout.
One main living area with no separate bedroom.
Example of late Victorian terrace in Moss Side, Manchester, UK.

See also


  1. ^ Zandi, Karl. "How are single-family and multifamily buildings defined?". Data Buffet. Moody's Analytics. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  2. ^ "What is A Multifamily Real Estate Property - Apartment Syndication Companies". BAM Capital. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b Gallagher, Ryan M. (2016). "The fiscal externality of multifamily housing and its impact on the property tax: Evidence from cities and schools, 1980–2010". Regional Science and Urban Economics. 60: 249–259. doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2016.07.012. ISSN 0166-0462.
  4. ^ García, Tere (2015-08-19). "Shibam: Los rascacielos de adobe". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  5. ^ "Definition of BROWNSTONE". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  6. ^ "The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow". 1905-07-19. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  7. ^ "English Heritage Online". Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  8. ^ "Liverpool Court Dwellings". Liverpool Historical Society. 15 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Defining the Four Plus One | Forgotten Chicago | History, Architecture, and Infrastructure". Forgotten Chicago. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  10. ^ "Garlows, the Modern Type of Temporary Home — Twin Cities Bungalow Club". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  11. ^ "Definition of garden apartment |". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  12. ^ "GARDEN FLAT | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 2019-08-02.