The greater visibility of societal ageing and higher share of individuals with disabilities have created new challenges for housing and urban policies. Housing needs can influence individual choice of living environment and the willingness to undertake housing improvements. This is especially relevant in southern European countries where the family is still the main provider of care for the elderly. This study makes an empirical analysis of the underlying preferences for housing and perceptions of housing suitability in the event of dependency in old age, drawing upon a new representative database of the Spanish population. It explores whether preferences are stable for different age-groups and different levels of individual affluence, calculated in terms of income and housing assets. The study found preferences for `ageing in place', which became stronger as individuals grew older. The effect of affluence, or the `wealth effect', was considerable. Acting independently and exhibiting higher health needs, it restrained individuals from choosing institutional care options. Those respondents who preferred to `age in place' were relatively less affluent. Those with relatively less formal education, preferred living with their relatives
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