From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid to a landlord, and owner-occupancy. Mixed forms of tenure are also possible.
The basic forms of tenure can be subdivided, for example an owner-occupier may own a house outright, or it may be mortgaged. In the case of tenancy, the landlord may be a private individual, a non-profit organization such as a housing association, or a government body, as in public housing.
Surveys used in social science research frequently include questions about housing tenure, because it is a useful proxy for income or wealth, and people are less reluctant to give information about it.