This study aims to understand the reasons for housing mobility, preferences, satisfaction and the pivotal determinants for the housing choices of renters in slum settlements. The lack of affordable housing brings rental housing in slum settlements as the second dominant type of homeownership in Jakarta, despite its poor physical condition. This study is located in Kampung Cikini, a high- density Kampung settlement in the municipality with significant decreasing population growth. It employs a case study research method. The renters in Kampung settlement must not be stereotyped as low-income who fail to obtain homeownership, as some of them are homeowners who rent for several reasons. The reasons for housing mobility are determined by their life-course event, while selecting the location and quality of rental rooms designated to increase the savings/remittance by compromising physical and psychological comfort. This study demonstrates that housing satisfaction is achieved by changing the idealised to realistic housing preferences by selecting the prioritised and compromised cultural norms.