The literature approach the lack on housing as one of the consequences of household poverty. This paper turns around the argument and assesses how housing tenure triggers poverty situations. It estimates several affordability indicators associated to housing tenure, finding empirical evidence of different poverty threshold among Spanish households depending on their tenant status. Using micro-data of the Survey of Quality of Life for Spain , data is segmented by residential tenure and calculate poverty lines for homeowners, renters (both at a market prices and below market prices) and the free housing , the four tenure formulas existing in the Spanish housing market. Results suggest that high ownership rate has prevent from poverty to a large number of homeowners with income below the poverty line, especially after the economic crisis in Spain.