The prolonged stay of elderly in their own homes is a focal point in housing policy in the Netherlands and also the wish of many elderly (Timmermans et al., 1997). Although initiatives to promote this (based on safety, usability, accessibility and adaptability) have brought distinct improvements, the basis of these initiatives is arguable. Generally it is assumed that residential needs of the elderly are sufficiently known from quantitative research of the housing market and a number of smaller qualitative studies (i.e. Rongen and de Heij, 1993; Houben, 1985; Scherpenisse, Folgerts and Kalle, 1993; Raaijmaker, van der Beek and Rohde, 1996). Thus, most insights originate from the supply side: we know what elderly want in relation to the possibilities offered. This is acceptable if the management of housing portfolios is prominent. If, however, prolonged independent living is the goal, requirements should be derived from the demand side: the physiological, psychological and social aspects of the dwelling process. In other words: present research is mainly offering housing needs whereas insight in dwelling needs is needed.