Considerable empirical research substantiates the importance of social networks on health and well-being in later life. A study of ethnic minority elders living in two low income public housing buildings in East Harlem was undertaken to gain an understanding of the relationship between their health status and social networks. Findings demonstrate that elders with supportive housing had better psychological outcomes and used significantly more informal supports when in need. However, elders with serious health problems had poorer outcomes regardless of their level of social support. This study highlights the potential of supportive living environments to foster social integration and to optimise formal and informal networks.