Since 1971, the Office of Housing of AID has been conducting preinvestment surveys in countries where housing investment guaranty programs are anticipated in order to provide the background and framework for its intervention. These surveys are, in fact, increasingly sophisticated analyses of the shelter sector of each country. Each report is intended to provide the Office of Housing with the information necessary to enable it to answer three primary questions about a specific country: (1) What is the country's capacity to undertake a large-scale housing program? (2) What is the effective demand for housing at a given price level? (3) What is the country's capacity to repay a foreign loan? To paraphrase the introduction to the scope of work for a recent survey, its objectives are to determine the need for housing at all socioeconomic levels of society, to determine the ability of each socioeconomic group to pay for housing; to assess the capabilities of the Government to plan and manage large scale housing programs and projects; to analyze the impact of large scale foreign borrowing on the country's economy and its ability to repay; and to assess the ability of the country to absorb large sums of money into the shelter sector industries. These objectives have been realized with varying degrees of success. Some of the more recent surveys, in particular, provide broad panoramas of the country housing sectors. Some of the earlier ones are more limited in scope and cover only a part of the sector. These reports provide valuable orientation for anyone becoming involved in housing sector in one of these countries. They should also be useful for comparative studies of housing programs and policies on a regional or worldwide basis.