This paper presents an overview of those parameters that define health aspects of rural and urban housing. It begins with a brief historical account of the major preoccupations faced by those concerned with environmental health. It then examines how dwelling hygiene and safety can be ensured by accounting for biological, chemical, engineering and physical parameters that are relevant to human health and well-being in residential quarters. The author draws on his broad knowledge of studies funded and/or published by the World Health Organization to establish a range of principles that ought to be the goal for promoting health and well-being at the community or municipal level.