"Present research for housing policy, as well as a number of social scientific studies on housing, concentrate on housing needs, preferences, wants and demands of the elderly. These perspectives are somewhat hazardous, because they may produce results that are based on a limited choice of alternatives, inadequate knowledge of the possibilities or the apparent inescapability of "homes" for the elderly. To prolong independence in one's own house, it is essential to have an understanding of the dwelling needs of elderly, i.e. needs on the user side that follow from the process of dwelling, and of the changes in those needs during the dwelling and ageing processes. Having an overview of these needs might prevent the taking of decisions in moving or design that promote certain needs while obstructing others, thereby possibly inducing an unnecessary future house move. Some studies in the social sciences do assess dwelling needs, primarily by using qualitative methods. These methods are suitable and valid in the circumstances in which they are used. However, for reasons discussed below, a quantitative method is preferred in the present case. This method takes person-environment fit theory as a starting point. Using functional problems that people experience if needs or abilities are not in line with resources or demands from the environment, statistical procedures can be applied to uncover dwelling needs. Tangible problems with these resources and demands will reveal related dwelling features and possibilities to promote independence. The method was tested in a study among tenants of a housing association in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Although the procedure was somewhat hindered by the sample size, the results indicate that the method has potential. Dwelling needs of three age groups were established and compared. The relevant dwelling features of single family houses were classified and, on those grounds, recommendations were formulated."