Houses are the most important buildings in Emperor: without housing, you don't have any workers and can't start any industries, military, etc. Only people living in common housing work, inhabitants of elite housing just sit around, enjoying the luxury, but paying really high taxes! Elite housing are also important to develop your military.
The table below shows what types of housing there are and what they need.
|Plain Cottage||Bland food and Ancestor Shrine||22||-|
|Attractive Cottage||Plain food and hemp||31||-|
|Spacious Dwelling||Herbalist and music||41||-|
|Elegant Dwelling||Appetizing food and ceramics||52||-|
|Ornate Apartment||Acupuncturist and acrobat||63||-|
|Luxurious Apartment||Tea and Daoist/Buddhist access||74||-|
|Modest Siheyuan||Hemp, ceramics||5||0|
|Lavish Siheyuan||Appetizing food, silk, Ancestor, herbalist, music, acrobat||10||1|
|Humble Compound||Tasty food, Bronzeware/Lacquerware and acupuncturist||15||1|
|Impressive Compound||Daoist/Buddhist and Confucian academy||20||2|
|Heavenly Compound||Tea and drama||25||2|
Note: to build elite housing you need 1 load of hemp, 1 load of ceramics and a desirable area.