Housing is essential to daily life. It provides shelter and a place to grow with our families. It is also one of the largest expenses in a household’s budget. For these reasons housing is an important topic to understanding the stability of our communities and region.

The Housing Section covers indicators that describe our living situations, including the type of housing, whether it is owned or rented, and how much it costs to live in our communities.

Selected Visualizations

Below are sample indicators from the housing section of the Data Book. Download the Data Book to see all of the indicators that are included in this section.

Housing Units

A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.

The total number of housing units in a community can show how many households can reside there and is a basis for further understanding types of units, vacancy, and other housing indicators.


A unit is owner-occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit, even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for. All other occupied units are classified as renter-occupied. Governments have long encouraged owner-occupancy as a way to build equity and enhance community ties; while renting can provide shorter term living environments at lower costs and with fewer maintenance requirements.

Owner-occupancy rates vary widely across individual communities within Cuyahoga County. Owner-occupancy is lower within the urban core and Inner Ring Suburbs, and higher in the Outer Ring Suburbs.

Housing Type

Housing type is defined by the number of units located within a structure. One unit in one structure would be a single-family home, while 50 units in a single structure would be a large apartment building.

In this report, housing types have been grouped into five categories:

  • Single-Family: a single-unit structure such as a single-family home or a townhouse
  • Small Building: two to four units in a structure
  • Medium Building: five to 19 units in a structure
  • Large Building: 20 or more units in a structure
  • Other: mobile homes, houseboats, campers, or other types of residences

Additional Visualizations

Disclaimer: County Planning’s Guidebook Series is intended for reference purposes only. County Planning assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this report. The information contained within is provided ‘as is’ with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness.

Top image: CPL 150 Festival by Erik Drost; accessed 6/4/20; licensed under CC BY 2.0