How to apply for the general housing allowance
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.
Apply for general housing benefit online
- Scan or take a photo of any supporting documents and send them through OmaKela. Enclose the following with the application:
- Depending on your situation also enclose
- a copy of your employment contract, if the employment relationship has only just begun
- details of any other pensions or benefits you may receive from other sources besides Kela or your authorised pension provider.
- details of housing loans (remaining balance and interest rate)
- the authorisation form for communal households in Finnish or Swedish
- decision showing the award of a start-up grant if you are a new entrepreneur without YEL insurance cover
- , if you are applying for general housing allowance for the first time since you moved to Finland, and your entitlement or the entitlement of another household member to Kela benefits has not yet been determined. .
- form , when you are reporting a move abroad or a period of residence abroad.
- Report the income of all your household members, because their income is relevant to the amount of the housing allowance. State the amount of income before deduction for taxes.
- Visit the OmaKela e-service to see if your application has been decided, how much you will get and when your benefits will be paid. You can also see possible reminders concerning, for instance, any documents missing from your application. You will also receive a decision letter at your home address.
When to apply
You can get housing allowance retroactively for up to one month from the month of application. For example, if you wish to get the allowance from January onward, your application must reach Kela before the end of February.
New payments of housing allowance begin on the first of the month. For example, if you have a rental agreement that comes into effect on 15 March, you will get housing allowance starting from 1 April.
Report changes in your circumstances
If your household’s income, housing costs or other circumstances change, your housing allowance will usually have to be reviewed.