1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDYHousing is often regarded as one of the basic human needs. It ranks second after food and thereafter clothing. It is a pre-requisite for the survival of man (Onibokun,1985). Housing as a unit of the environment has profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behavior, satisfaction and general welfare of the community. It reflects the cultural, social and economic values of a society, as it is the best physical and historical evidence of the civilization of a country. Adedeji (2004) argued that housing issues affect the life of individuals as well as that of a nation; hence both nature and society ascribed great importance to the role it plays to bring about human comfort. Housing all over the world has remained an interdependent phenomenon that affects every facets of mankind and it represents one of the most basic human needs which no doubt has a profound impact on the health, welfare and productivity of every individual irrespective of socio-economic status, colour or creed. In spite of the importance of housing to mankind, there is however, a universal shortage of needed dwelling units especially in developing countries including Nigeria where population growth and urbanization are rapidly on the increase and where the gap between the housing supply and housing demand is so wide. Housing shortage in Nigeria is reported to be estimated at about 14 to 16 million housing units with an esteemed whooping sum of N4.7 trillion required to meet the deficit. The importance of providing adequate and quality housing in any country cannot be overstated nor disputed in time or space. It is a stimulant to the national economy. However, the re-current nature of housing needs and the unending desire for good housing tend to confirm the widely impression that there is hardly any society that has been able to cope satisfactorily with its housing requirement (Modupe, 1986). The proliferation of shanty dwellings, squatter settlements and slums in most of our cities in the Nigeria and other less developed nations of the world is attributed to a chain of factors. Of course, such factors are closely associated with the low level of socio-economic and cultural lifestyles of the inhabitants and the effects of residential housing in our environment. This paper, therefore, intends to investigate the characteristics of housing condition, the positive and negative effects of residential housing, and the socio-economic lifestyle of residential neighborhood in Ovia North East and Ovia South West Local Government Area, Benin City, Edo state (Nigeria) with a view to determining the factors that are actually responsible for the formation of good and bad residential housing conditions in urban and rural settings.