Building types are as as much social products and social constructions asthey are physical artifacts. As social products they are the result of variouspolitical, economic and social forces. As social constructions, they reflect,even manifest, the ideas, assumpitons, and expectations that various inter-ested parties hold with respect to them. The processes of social productionand social construction affect the social and physical design of buildingtypes, their condition, and their very existence. As social, political or eco-nomic circumstances change, or as ideas and assumptions regarding thebulding type and its occupants change, its design may be modified or it may cease to exist and later be rediscovered. One building type in the U. S. that isa revealing example of such loss and rediscovery is single room occupancy(SRO) housing.SRO housing offers single furnished rooms for short or long-term rental.Bathrooms are usually shared and, if they are provided at all, cooking facil-ities are often shared as well. Historically SRO housing has included a va-riety of housing types: boarding houses, rooming houses, lodging houses,residences for single men and single women, and most recently SRO hotels.In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many SRO types of housingwere built In downtown urban areas. After World War II, this housing wasdeemed legally substandart and declined in quality and in number of build-ings. Many were destroyed or converted to other uses in urban renewal andredevelopment programs. Now, witn a lack of low- cost rental housing inurban centers and the severe problems of homelessness, SRO housing is be-ing rediscovered.In this paper the history of SRO housing is analysed from the point of viewof social praduction and social construction. The following questions are ad-dressed. What were the political, economic, and social forces that affectedSRO housing during the three stages of SRO housing history? What were thesignificant perceptions (or social constructions ) of the SRO building typeand Its occupants? And what was the relationship between these two sets offactors, that is between social production and social construction? As de-scribed in the paper, economic, legislative and social factors all had a pow-erful influence on the condition and the very existence of SRO housing as didsociety's perceptions of the building type and its occupants.The paper draws heavily from previous work about SRO housing by this au-thor and others. The analysis is quite speculative at this point. I hoope it canserve as a basis for useful discussion, future investigation of the history ofSRO housing, and possible application to other types of environments. Theoutcome that is considered throughout the paper is the existence, the preva-lence, and the condition of SRO housing over time. The political forces con-sidered are legislative acts in the form of building regulations, federalhousing programs, and urban redevelopment programs. The social construc-tion of SRO housing is anaysed only as the perceptions of housing resaerch-ers, and policy makers.