This essay is in six main sections. It begins with a general inventory of the housing problems of the elderly that considers dwelling-specific items as well as the need for supportive services. The second section reviews current US federal housing assistance programs for the elderly; the third presents a framework for thinking about housing policy that goes considerably beyond the present programmatic structure. The fourth section describes three specific federal housing interventions that could meet the requirement of being an element in a long-term care system. The next section gives some idea of the possible consequences of adopting such interventions, and the final section provides conclusions.