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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.

General housing allowance reduced in 2024, will no longer be available for owner-occupied homes starting in 2025

Parliament has approved cuts to the general housing allowance, which will reduce the rates of the allowance in 2024. Most of the changes to the general housing allowance will take effect on 1 April 2024. The changes will be applied to general housing allowances currently in payment the nexttime they are reviewed. General housing allowance will also no longer be available for owner-occupied housing as from 1 January 2025. 

Learn more about the changes to general housing allowances

Who can get housing allowance?

Housing allowance can be paid to households 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 housing allowance can you get?

Housing allowance can be at most 80% of your housing costs. The allowance can be paid for example towards your rent or maintenance charge. If your housing costs exceed a maximum amount expressed in euros, you cannot get housing allowance.

How income affects the amount of the housing allowance

The amount of the housing allowance depends on the income of all household members. Earnings, capital income and many social security benefits count as income. The gross amount of income, i.e. before taxes are deducted from it, is used to determine the housing allowance.

How to apply for housing allowance

You can apply for housing allowance in the OmaKela e-service. Please note that OmaKela is available in Finnish and Swedish only. 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.

Alternatively, you can complete and print out the form General housing allowance AT 1e (pdf). Send your application by post along with the supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

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 housing allowance?

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 change, the housing allowance must be reviewed sooner. Remember to notify Kela of such changes, i.e., apply for a review of your housing allowance.

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