Residential land constitutes a greater share of the developed area of cities than does any other single land-use type. Whereas housing comprises approximately 40% of urban land, the next two largest categories, open space and industry, only take up 20% and 10% respectively. Housing is, therefore, an important aspect of land-use planning — and yet planners have only a limited role in influencing housing policy. It is central government which defines standards for dwellings; banks and building societies control private housing finance and determine mortgage rates, and local authority housing departments build public housing, clear slums and rehabilitate where appropriate. Planners tend to influence policy at the strategic level through the development of settlement policies and, more specifically, through the allocation of land for new housing. The allocation of residential land has important ramifications for it is closely linked to employment location, has implications for the provision of transport, and imposes demands on recreational and community facilities. Moreover, for the ‘consumer’, housing location is important not only in its own right, but also as a means of access to other facilities such as schools and employment.