In this Briefing Paper the focus is on the EU-SILC and on the questions: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pan-European data set EU-SILC, which stands for ‘European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions’? How useful is this database when making international housing comparisons? The examples in this paper are based on my experience with the EU-SILC and explore a number of themes such as setting universal norms for all countries and differences in data requirements between housing and poverty research. My conclusion is that some of these topics transcend the database evaluation and are concerned with the definition of concepts. As long as there are no ‘better’ data alternatives, we need to make do with what we have, but should do so carefully and transparently.