The analysis is based on data from EU-SILC 2007, including a special module on housing, with over 500.000 individuals from 24 EU countries. Our results suggest that housing quality is correlated with the nation’s affluence. The Baltic States appear to be particularly disadvantaged on most grounds. The poor live worse in terms of housing quality, although their relative disadvantage is more prevalent with respect to basic amenities or shortage of space, rather than neighbourhood problems. In our comparison of five selected capital regions, including Brussels, Prague, Paris, Athens and Madrid, we find that the Paris and Brussels regions have the most quality problems (with respect to adequate installations). Based on our analysis, we argue that the use of objective criteria for assessing the need for space may be flawed, and the indicators of the EU pursuing social inclusion need to be harmonized with strategies of environmental sustainability.