A survey of the housing needs of 101 people with mentally illness treated by the Central Western Area Mental Health Service were compared with data from the 1994 Australian Housing Study (Australian Bureau of Statistics). The results indicate that people with mental illness want housing similar to Australians in general. However, unemployment or very low incomes may affect their ability to realise their housing choices. Despite very low incomes most in the survey felt their rent was affordable. Preferences for housing types and factors relating to housing choice are described. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of housing in maintaining mental health.