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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. 

Learn more about the changes to general housing allowances

Apply for general housing benefit online

Apply for benefits
  1. Use the OmaKela e-service to apply for general housing allowance. Clearly legible documents photographed with a phone are accepted. Please note that OmaKela is available in Finnish and Swedish only.
  2. Scan or take a photo of any supporting documents and send them through OmaKela. Enclose the following with the application:
  3. Depending on your household's situation also enclose
  4. 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.
    • Kela obtains salary information from the national incomes register. Kela uses this data when processing claims and applications. You will be contacted if additional information is required.
  5. 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.

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.

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.

Remember to report such changes to Kela, i.e., apply for a review of your housing allowance.

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Last modified 22/1/2024

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