The purpose of this study was to investigate public grants for housing adaptation in modern housing and to explore attitudes to accessibility problems. Grants for housing adaptation in apartments in blocks of flats built during the 1980s in a Swedish urban district were investigated over a 3-year period. Twenty-nine apartments had been adapted, in most cases by making a few simple alterations. Interviews with key persons in the building process stated that the most common measures would have cost less if they had been planned as 'basic accessibility'. The most important reasons why accessibility problems still persisted were building traditions, lack of knowledge about disability, and technical problems. Occupational therapists have a wide knowledge of housing adaptation. Adding their competence to the planning process would most likely increase activity and improve quality of life for disabled individuals. This study indicates that positive effects on the public economy could be achieved by putting 'basic accessibility' into practice.