Emerging affordability problems in British housing have accentuated the role of parental support in facilitating entry to homeownership, with financial transfers and in-kind support smoothening transitions for many. This article explores housing trajectories, focusing on how dependency and autonomy are negotiated within and across generations in relation to gifts, loans and in-kind transfers for home purchase. It draws on the experiences of a group of young adults aged 25–35 and those family members who supported them in acquiring a home. We consider the nature of support, and how those giving and receiving it understand this exchange. We show that gifting for homeownership is an ‘ideal gift’, allowing givers to exercise moral control over the receivers by supporting a normalized tenure choice. Managing relationships of indebtedness between kin presupposes negotiations in which the maintenance of autonomy is paramount. The article examines four types of negotiations and their impact on intergenerational relations.