Housing supplement

You can be paid a housing supplement if you live in rented or right-of-occupancy housing.

It is only available for months of active study and for a home that you can use as a base for your studies.

If you are under 17 years of age, you can be paid a housing supplement even if you cannot yet get a study grant. However, your parents' income will affect your housing supplement until you are 18.

Your home can be a single room or an independent dwelling unit. You can also be paid a housing supplement for temporary accommodation, such as a hotel room, holiday home or shared accommodation, but only for up to one term.

If you temporarily live away from your student housing during the months in which financial aid is normally paid, you can still be paid a housing supplement for your student housing. This requires that you continue to pay rent for your student housing, you do not rent it out to someone else, and you are not paid a housing supplement for any other dwelling. You can be paid a housing supplement for up three months while you are living somewhere else (for up two months if the period has started before 1 August 2016).

Who cannot get a housing supplement

You cannot be paid a housing supplement in the following situations:

Spouse or partner means a person married to, cohabiting with or living in a registered partnership with you. This does not include same-sex partners. A man and a woman sharing a home are considered to be partners unless the applicant can prove otherwise.

If you have children living with you

If you or your spouse or partner has a child who lives in your home, you cannot usually be paid a housing supplement but can get a general housing allowance. However, you can be paid a housing supplement if

  • you live with your child or spouse/partner in a home which you have rented in order to attend school and
  • the home you have rented is in another town than your family's primary residence and
  • during your studies, the primary residence of your family is occupied by some other family member, such as your spouse or partner.

If your whole family lives in one and the same home you cannot be paid a housing supplement. In that case you can claim general housing allowance as a family.

You can also be paid a housing supplement if you study abroad and you live in the same home with a child of your own or a child of your spouse/partner.

Free dormitory housing

If you have the option of living in a school dormitory free of charge you cannot usually be paid a housing supplement for a rental home. However, in the following situations you can get a housing supplement:

  • Even before you applied to school you had a home that you could use as a base for your studies.
  • You live with your spouse or partner in a home that you can use as a base for your studies.
  • You are unable to live in the dormitory for health or other pressing reasons.
  • You cannot stay in the dormitory on weekends or school holidays, or the housing is not free for you during those times. You have the option of living in the dormitory during active days of study even if your are paid a housing supplement for your rental home. In that case, any dormitory charges are not accepted as housing costs.

Housing supplement or general housing allowance?

If you do not qualify for the housing supplement you can claim general housing allowance. Claim general housing allowance in the following situations:

  • You or your spouse or partner have a child that lives with you.
  • You have interrupted your studies.
    • You must prove the interruption by presenting a financial aid decision or a certificate from your school.
  • Kela or the financial aid committee has stopped paying you financial aid because you have not made satisfactory academic progress.
  • You have used up your financial aid entitlement.
  • You are paid a sickness allowance or some other benefit that makes you ineligible for financial aid.
  • You live in a home which you own yourself or which your spouse or partner owns.
    • Any home where the share of ownership is at least 50% is considered to be owner-occupied.

If you are entitled to a housing supplement during the school term, you cannot get general housing allowance during the holidays if you will be returning to school in the autumn. This does not apply to students who are entitled to general housing allowance on other grounds.

Further, you cannot be paid general housing allowance if you do not qualify for a housing supplement because of your parents' income or if you have cancelled or paid back financial aid voluntarily for example in order to raise your annual income limit.

Last modified 30/06/2016
Updated 22/04/2016