Housing is a new concept in Civilization VI, which adds a slowing factor and eventually a limit on Population growth in each city. It is meant to emulate habitation and sanitation factors in cities, and the limits overcrowding imposes on growth. Housing acts alongside the traditional Food growth factor in the following way:
|Housing minus Population||Growth rate from Food|
|2 or more||100%|
|0 to -4||25%|
|-5 or less||0%|
As shown in the table above, Housing acts as an additional constraint on Population growth beyond Food supply. In practice, this means that a city will need Housing to grow larger, even if it has more than enough Food. Conversely, if a city has too little Food, no amount of spare Housing will help it grow.
Initially the amount of Housing available is strongly dependent on fresh water access (quite correct historically). That's why water supply plays such a prominent role in the Settler lens - look for the dark green tiles to settle in the best possible locations.
When the city develops, however, its Housing becomes mostly dependent on the existence of tile improvements, buildings and districts (that is, facilities inside the city which have no relation to nearby terrain). Still later, civics and governments will also add Housing.
Note that Housing is a fluid trait, especially when provided by "soft" sources such as policy cards. However, losing Housing (e.g., because you stopped using a certain policy) will not cause a loss of Population. Instead it will merely slow down Population growth, or stop it altogether. In that manner, Housing is very different from Food: when you are losing Food in the city you will also eventually start losing Population.
For details on how to get more Housing, see the section below. Also note that the "Housing" section of the City Details screen shows a detailed breakdown of all sources currently providing Housing for the city.
The most basic Housing conditions are related to a water source, and this depends on where your city (that is, the City Center) is placed. Fresh water (River, Lake, Oasis) provides 5 Housing. Coast provides 3 Housing if you don't have fresh water. Every other placement gives only 2 Housing, meaning that your Population growth will be slowed from the very beginning.
Buildings and districts
Many buildings grant Housing. After researching Pottery, every city is able to build a Granary, which adds 2 Housing, and later they can build Sewers, which also adds 2 Housing. Buildings in other Districts sometimes add Housing, such as the Barracks in the Encampment, the University in the Campus, and the Lighthouse in the Harbor. The religious beliefs such as Feed the World and the Pagoda or Gurdwara buildings that can be built in the Holy Site add Housing. The Palace in your Capital city also adds 1 Housing.
Aqueducts are the earliest engineering means of increasing Housing by providing additional access to water. They will add 2 Housing for cities that already have fresh water; otherwise they will set the water Housing value to 6.
|No Water||2 (base)|
|Coastal Water||3 (+1)|
|Fresh Water||5 (+3)|
|No Water + Aqueduct||6 (+4)|
|Fresh Water + Aqueduct||7 (+3 +2)|
|Coastal + Lighthouse||extra +2|
The Neighborhood district is exclusively dedicated to providing Housing through additional habitation space based on the tile's Appeal (with the bonus ranging from +2 for Disgusting Appeal to +6 for Breathtaking Appeal).
The Preserve also provides up to +3 Housing (+1 base, +2 for Charming Appeal, +3 for Breathtaking Appeal). Unlike the Aqueduct, Dam, and Neighborhood, however, it is a specialty district.
To maximize Housing, the best possible location for a city is coastal, next to fresh water, with the possibility to build a Harbor with a Lighthouse, an Aqueduct, and a Dam (on Floodplains). This amounts to 12 Housing (+5 from fresh water, +2 from the Lighthouse, +2 from the Aqueduct, +3 from the Dam).
Each Farm, Pasture, Plantation, Camp, or Fishing Boats supports a small amount of Population, +0.5 Housing for every such improvements within 3 tiles of the City Center. Supporting rural Population in this fashion will allow for slightly larger Populations prior to the Industrial Era, when the Neighborhood district becomes available. Note that unlike district adjacency which requires pairs of matching improvements for each minor adjacency bonus (2 Mines/Lumber Mills/Woods/Rainforests), housing improvements that provide +0.5 Housing are simply additive (e.g., a city with 1 Farm, 1 Pasture, 1 Plantation, and 1 Fishery will receive a total of +2 Housing).
There are some civilizations whose unique tile improvements provide extra Housing apart from standard improvements. Below is the list of unique tile improvements that provide Housing:
- Golf Course (): 1 Housing with Globalization
- Kampung: 1 Housing, 1 additional Housing with Mass Production
- Mekewap (): 1 Housing, 1 additional Housing with Civil Service
- Outback Station: 0.5 Housing
- Polder (): 0.5 Housing
- Stepwell: 1 Housing, 1 additional Housing with Sanitation
- Terrace Farm (): 1 Housing
- Cahokia Mounds (): 1 Housing, 1 additional Housing with Cultural Heritage
- Monastery: 1 Housing, 1 additional Housing with Colonialism (Only provides Housing in )
- Mahavihara: 1 Housing (requires Babylon Pack DLC)
Civilization and leader abilities
Some civilization and leader abilities grant additional Housing:
- The Australians gain +3 Housing in coastal cities.
- While the Maya do not gain additional Housing from water, they gain +1 Housing from Farms.
- Jayavarman VII grants +2 Housing to Holy Sites built adjacent to rivers.
- Kupe grants the Palace +3 Housing.
Another major source of Housing is policy cards. The following policy cards, when activated, will increase Housing:
|Policy card||Function||First available|
|Insulae||+1 Housing in cities with 2 or more districts.||Classical Era|
|Civil Prestige||Established Governors with at least 2 Promotions provide +1 Amenity and +2 Housing.||Medieval Era|
|Medina Quarter||+2 Housing in cities with 3 or more districts.||Medieval Era|
|New Deal||+4 Housing, 2 Amenities, -8 Gold in cities with 3 or more districts.
4 Housing and 2 Amenities in cities with 3 or more districts.
|Collectivism||Farms +1 Food. All cities +2 Housing. +100% Industrial Zone adjacency bonuses.
BUT: Great People Points earned 50% slower.
Some wonders also supply bonuses in Housing. Below is the list of wonders that provide Housing:
- Angkor Wat: 1 Housing in all cities.
- Great Bath (): 3 Housing.
- Hanging Gardens: 2 Housing.
- Temple of Artemis (): 3 Housing.
There are also other sources of Housing, which are generally non-permanent. They are related to specific forms of government, or to its agents (the Governors), or the Suzerainty of Mohenjo-Daro. Since these may be changed or relocated at any time, you should aim to utilize them strategically in periods of the game for general growth, or in specific cities to allow a temporary growth spurt.