The MOF-containing NSL complex binds to many but not all promoters of active genes and potentially contributes to their proper gene expression. It is currently unknown what determines whether an active gene is bound or not. Here, we provide evidence that the NSL complex primarily targets active promoters of most housekeeping genes. There, it co-localizes with the chromatin remodeler NURF and the histone methyltransferase Trithorax. Moreover, despite binding to most housekeeping genes, the NSL complex regulates only a subset of them, which are depleted for certain insulator binding-proteins and enriched for the core promoter motif Ohler 5. We suggest that the combination of general chromatin factors and core promoter motifs is predictive for whether a housekeeping gene is transcriptionally regulated by the NSL complex.