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General housing allowance for different types of housing

You can get housing allowance for a rental, owner-occupied, right-of-occupancy or part-ownership home. The home must be located in Finland and be suitable for permanent habitation.

Housing allowance is not available for all types of housing costs. Instead, so-called acceptable housing costs are defined for each type of housing. For example in a rented home, this includes the rent and any charges paid separately for water and heating. The size of the home is not relevant.

Read about maximum housing costs.

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

Select your type of housing

You can get housing allowance if you live permanently in a rental home located in Finland. When applying for housing allowance, you must have a written rental agreement.

Housing allowance can be paid for the following housing costs:

  • rent
  • charges for water and heating that are not part of the rent.

If the rent includes electricity, Kela deducts the part of the rent that goes towards electricity. In other words, the housing allowance does not cover the amount you pay for electricity.

Water

Water charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent. Up to 20 euros per person and per month is accepted.

Heating

Heating charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent.

For 1-person households the amount of heating charges accepted is EUR 66 per month. If the household consists of more than one person, EUR 22 per month is added for each additional person.

In certain regions, a higher amount of heating costs is accepted:

  • In Etelä-Savo, Pohjois-Savo and Pohjois-Karjala up to EUR 69 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.
  • In Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Kainuu and Lapland up to EUR 71 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.

Housing costs for which you cannot get housing allowance

Kela does not accept as housing costs certain other housing-related payments which are paid separately. These include

  • electricity
  • sauna
  • laundry room
  • parking
  • internet access
  • furniture

Only the costs that you or a member of your household have are accepted as housing costs. This means, for example, that if your employer or a company pays part of your housing costs, that part is not accepted.

If you have a subtenant, the amount of rent paid by the subtenant is deducted from the accepted housing costs.

You can get housing allowance if you live in a right-of-occupancy home located in Finland. Housing allowance can be paid for the following housing costs:

  • maintenance charge
  • water and heating charges which are paid separately
  • 73% of the interest on your housing loan.

Water

Water charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent. Up to 20 euros per person and per month is accepted.

Heating

Heating charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent.

For 1-person households the amount of heating charges accepted is EUR 66 per month. If the household consists of more than one person, EUR 22 per month is added for each additional person.

In certain regions, a higher amount of heating costs is accepted:

  • In Etelä-Savo, Pohjois-Savo and Pohjois-Karjala up to EUR 69 per month is accepted as heating charges for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.
  • In Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Kainuu and Lapland up to EUR 71 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.

Interest on a housing loan

If you have a housing loan, 73% of the monthly interest is accepted as housing costs. This includes personal loans taken out to purchase the right of occupancy.

Only the part of the interest paid by the household is accepted.

Only loans issued by a credit institution which is under public supervision, such as a bank, are accepted.

Not accepted as housing loans are

  • loans issued by a contractor or employer
  • Remaining balance of the purchase price.

Housing costs for which you cannot get housing allowance

Kela does not accept as housing costs certain other housing-related payments which are paid separately. These include

  • electricity
  • sauna
  • laundry room
  • parking
  • internet access
  • furniture

Only the costs that you or a member of your household have are accepted as housing costs. This means, for example, that if your employer or a company pays part of your housing costs, that part is not accepted.

You can apply for housing allowance if you live in a housing cooperative unit that you own. Households must own at least 50% of the home in order to qualify for housing allowance.

Housing allowance can be paid for the following housing costs:

  • Maintenance charge
  • water and heating charges which are paid separately
  • 73% of the interest on your housing loan.

Water

Water charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the maintenance charge. Up to EUR 20 per person and per month is accepted.

Heating

Heating charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the maintenance charge.

For 1-person households the amount of heating charges accepted is EUR 66 per month. If the household consists of more than one person, EUR 22 per month is added for each additional person.

In certain regions, a higher amount of heating costs is accepted:

  • In Etelä-Savo, Pohjois-Savo and Pohjois-Karjala up to EUR 69 per month is accepted as heating charges for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.
  • In Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Kainuu and Lapland up to EUR 71 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.

Interest on a housing loan

If you have a housing loan, 73% of the monthly interest is accepted as housing costs. This includes personal loans taken out to purchase or modernise a home.

Only the part of the interest paid by the household is accepted.

Only loans issued by a credit institution which is under public supervision, such as a bank, are accepted.

Not accepted as housing loans are

  • loans issued by a contractor or employer
  • Remaining balance of the purchase price.

Housing costs for which you cannot get housing allowance

Kela does not accept as housing costs certain other housing-related payments which are paid separately. These include

  • electricity
  • sauna
  • laundry room
  • parking
  • internet access
  • furniture

Only the costs that you or a member of your household have are accepted as housing costs. This means, for example, that if your employer or a company pays part of your housing costs, that part is not accepted.

You can apply for housing allowance if you live in a single-family home which you own and which is located in Finland. Households must own at least 50% of the home in order to qualify for housing allowance.

Housing allowance can be paid for the following housing costs:

  • costs of maintenance, i.e. water and heating charges or other expenses of living in a single-family house
  • 73% of the interest on housing loans.

There are certain standard rates at which the costs of maintaining a single-family home are recognised. You do not have to report your actual water, heating or other housing costs to Kela.

Standard rates for recognised costs of maintaining a single-family home, 2023

Etelä-Savo, Pohjois-Savo and Pohjois-Karjala

  • 1-person households: EUR 162 per month
  • 2-person households: EUR 195 per month
  • 3-person households: EUR 245 per month
  • 4-person households: EUR 289 per month
  • Households of more than 4 persons: EUR 289 + EUR 89 per month for each additional person

Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Kainuu and Lapland

  • 1-person households: EUR 168 per month
  • 2-person households: EUR 203 per month
  • 3-person households: EUR 254 per month
  • 4-person households: EUR 300 per month
  • Households of more than 4 persons: EUR 300 + EUR 93 per month for each additional person

All other regions

  • 1-person households: EUR 155 per month
  • 2-person households: EUR 187 per month
  • 3-person households: EUR 236 per month
  • 4-person households: EUR 278 per month
  • Households of more than 4 persons: EUR 278 + EUR 86 per month for each additional person

Interest on a housing loan

If you have a housing loan, 73% of the monthly interest is accepted as housing costs. This includes personal loans taken out to purchase or modernise a home.

Of the interest payable on housing loans, Kela recognises as housing costs only the part paid by the household.

Only loans issued by a credit institution which is under public supervision, such as a bank, are accepted.

Not accepted as housing loans are

  • loans issued by a contractor or employer
  • Remaining balance of the purchase price.

Housing costs for which you cannot get housing allowance

Kela does not accept as housing costs certain other housing-related payments which are paid separately. These include

  • real estate tax
  • ground rent
  • waste management charges
  • payment protection insurance payments on a loan
  • internet access

You can get housing allowance if you live in a part-ownership home located in Finland. In order to qualify for the allowance you must have a written rental agreement.

Housing allowance can be paid for the following housing costs:

  • rent
  • charges for water and heating that are not part of the rent.

Water

Water charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent. Up to EUR 20 per person and per month is accepted.

Heating

Heating charges are accepted as housing costs if you pay them separately and on top of the rent.

For 1-person households the amount of heating charges accepted is EUR 66 per month. If the household consists of more than one person, EUR 22 per month is added for each additional person.

In certain regions, a higher amount of heating costs is accepted:

  • In Etelä-Savo, Pohjois-Savo and Pohjois-Karjala up to EUR 69 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.
  • In Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Kainuu and Lapland up to EUR 71 per month is accepted as heating costs for a 1-person household. EUR 24 per month is added for each additional person.

Housing costs for which you cannot get housing allowance

Interest payable on a loan taken out to make the down payment on a part-ownership home is not recognised as a housing cost.

Kela does not accept as housing costs certain other housing-related payments which are paid separately. These include

  • electricity
  • sauna
  • laundry room
  • parking
  • internet access
  • furniture

Only the costs that you or a member of your household have are accepted as housing costs. This means, for example, that if your employer or a company pays part of your housing costs, that part is not accepted.

Last modified 30/1/2024

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