OBJECTIVE To study housing conditions of elderly people in Uppsala, Sweden. DESIGN The Albertina Project is an epidemiological study. A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample. SETTING AND SUBJECTS The general population 75 years or older in the community of Uppsala, 1985. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Information on marital status, housing conditions, housing standard, problems with the apartment/house, desires for modifications to the apartment, wishes to stay or to move related to the possibility to prevent institutionalization because of bad housing standard. RESULTS About half of those who participated in the study were single (never married, divorced or widowed). 85% lived in their own homes, 10% in so-called service apartments, and only 5% in institutions. More than 90% had a good housing standard. 45% reported some form of housing problem, but only 14% wanted modifications to their dwelling, and only 8% wanted to move from their present dwelling, in most cases due to problems with stairs or need for more help. CONCLUSION Most people lived in their own home and wanted to stay there. The housing standard appeared to be satisfactory in the majority of cases but minor modifications might prevent "unnecessary" moves to institutions.