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In common speech in Australia and New Zealand, the word "unit", when referring to housing, usually means either: an apartment, (where a group of apartments is contained in one or more multi-storied buildings (an 'apartment block')); or a villa unit or home unit, where a group of dwellings is in one or more single storey buildings, usually arranged around a driveway. In this usage, a unit is a self-contained suite of rooms, usually of modest scale, which may be attached, semi-detached or detached, within a group of similar dwellings. Used in the Australian and New Zealand urban planning and development industry, unit is also a synonym for dwelling, as in, "This development has 22 units per hectare".
A single room unit is more commonly referred to as a studio flat or bedsitter, otherwise known as a Single Room Occupancy or SRO in North America. It can be hard to discern precisely what attributes distinguish some multi-dwelling developments as units from those referred to as flats or apartments, though everyday usage suggests there is a class dimension to the term.
In Canada, the national statistical agency, Statistics Canada, counts the number of private dwellings in the country at each census, in which case they are then known as "dwelling units", this can refer equally to a house or an apartment. In everyday Canadian English "unit" is used an umbrella term for apartments and condominiums.
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