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General housing allowance

If you have a small income, you can be granted general housing allowance from Kela. The purpose of the general housing allowance is to help you with your housing costs. The allowance is available for rental, owner-occupied, right-of-occupancy and part-ownership housing.

The general housing allowance will decrease in 2024

Parliament has approved cuts to the general housing allowance, which will reduce the rates of the allowance in 2024. Most of the changes entered into effect on 1 April 2024. If you already receive general housing allowance, these cuts will affect your allowance when your allowance is reviewed on 1 April 2024 or later. General housing allowance will no longer be available for owner-occupied homes as of 1 January 2025.

Read more about the changes to the general housing allowance.

Who can get housing allowance?

General housing allowance can be paid to a household consisting of a single person or several persons. A household typically comprises the persons sharing living quarters. The housing allowance is granted to the household collectively.

How much general housing allowance can you get?

As of 1 April 2024, general housing allowance can cover up to 70 per cent of your housing costs.

However, if you started receiving general housing allowance before 1 April 2024, your allowance can still cover up to 80 per cent of your housing costs. Your housing allowance will be reduced the next time your household applies for a review of the housing allowance. When your housing allowance is reviewed on 1 April 2024 or later, the reviewed allowance will cover a maximum of 70 per cent of your housing costs.

You can get general housing allowance towards costs such as your rent. There is a maximum limit in euros for the housing costs that can be taken into account in your housing allowance.

Calculate the amount of assistance that may be available to you

To calculator (in Finnish)

How income affects the amount of general housing allowance

The amount of general housing allowance is affected by the income of all members of the household. Income such as earnings, capital income and many social security benefits all affect the amount of the allowance. The gross amount of income, i.e. before taxes are deducted from it, is used to determine the housing allowance.

How to apply for general housing allowance

You can apply for general housing allowance in OmaKela (available in Finnish and Swedish). Scan or take a photo of the documents you submit in support of your application and send them through OmaKela. From the application you can check which document you should enclose with the application. You can get housing allowance retroactively for up to one month from the month of application.

Visit the OmaKela e-service to check the status of your application. You can also see possible reminders concerning, for instance, any documents that may be missing from your application.

When is it necessary to review your general housing allowance?

General housing allowance is typically granted for the time being and is reviewed at least once a year. If the household’s income, housing costs or other circumstances such as the composition of the household change, the housing allowance must be reviewed before the yearly review. Remember to notify Kela of such changes, i.e., apply for a review of your housing allowance.

Read more