This chapter considers demographic change, addressing ageing of the population in particular, as part of social transition and examines its impact on housing. It challenges the popular debate in many industrial societies including Japan in recent years, concerning the transformation of housing assets into an income stream to help older people provide more fi nancial security in their later life. In Japan this discourse was born largely out of the facts that a signifi cant proportion of fi nancial and material assets were held by older people nationally, and that politicians, policy-makers and economists alike are looking for a means to revitalize the nation’s stagnating economy. This chapter seeks to contribute to the debate on an asset-based approach in public policy, drawing upon literature from post-industrial economies, and highlights the impact of the recent shift from family reciprocity to the wider socialization of care on individual asset accumulation. The chapter concludes by exploring the various options and accompanying issues surrounding liquidizing housing assets in old age. The fundamental misconception of such institutional mechanisms is also examined.