In Italy and other Southern European countries, housing independence among young people occurs at relatively older ages, closely associated with own family formation, in particular marriage, and often thanks to the economic assistance of parents. Parents' support of adult children's living arrangements plays a multifaceted role in the transition out of the parental home and first housing acquisition. Not only does the inheritance of tenure remain an important factor of social inequalities, but parents also may exert a preferential influence on the decision to leave home. Results from survey data on two cohorts of young Italians (aged 23-27 and 33-37) show that 65% of those who left the parental home have been helped by their parents in the first housing. Most of those who are still living in the parental house expect to be helped when they leave, but the extent of this assistance will be higher if they will marry than if they leave home to cohabit or live on their own. Young people's expectations derive from the parental normative system: mothers of those still living at home with parents confirm that the intention to sup port the process of first housing is more likely if the family has the economic opportunity to do so and especially if leaving home is associated with marriage.