The Department of Rural Housing is one of the implementing agencies under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. It was established of the Department in March 1974 as Department of Rural Development. In 1980 the Department's name was changed to Department of Rural Housing and Cottage Industries. However, in 1991 the Department ceded its Cottage Industry wing to National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) after Ministerial realignment from Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to Ministry of Works and Housing. It has been known as Department of Rural Housing since then.
The Department therefore been mandated to input policies and develop programmes to increase access to safe, descent and affordable housing in rural and peri-urban areas and also to facilitate the dissemination of creative and innovative research findings in the production and use of improved local building materials. DRH is to evolve policies and programmes for the creation of employment opportunities through the provision of on the training for unemployed youth to acquire employment skills in construction and its related industries.