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Housing allowance for pensioners

You are eligible for housing allowance for pensioners if you are living permanently in Finland, you have a low income and you receive a pension which entitles you to housing allowance for pensioners. The allowance is available for both permanent rental and owner-occupied homes.

The upcoming cuts to the general housing allowance, which will enter into effect on 1 April 2024, will not affect the housing allowance for pensioners. 

You can claim housing allowance for pensioners

  • if you live alone
  • if you live with your spouse/partner, or
  • if everyone living in your home is being paid a pension that qualifies them for a housing allowance for pensioners.

In other cases, check your entitlement to general housing allowance.

If both your spouse/partner and yourself are paid pensions or other benefits that make you eligible for the housing allowance for pensioners, you must file a joint application for the housing allowance for pensioners. Kela will split the allowance between the two of you. If you are married or live in a registered partnership and only either one of you is entitled to the housing allowance for pensioners, Kela will pay all of the allowance to that person.

The housing allowance can be backdated for a maximum of 6 months from the application.

Kela adjusts the amount of the housing allowance at the latest after 2 years of the award. Notify Kela if your circumstances change before that.

Pensions that entitle to housing allowance for pensioners include for instance

  • old-age pension, early old-age pension, years-of-service pension, disability pension (including rehabilitation subsidy paid for a fixed period) or spouse's pension paid by Kela or an authorised pension provider
  • guarantee pension paid by Kela
  • pension or spouse's pension paid as a result of an occupational or traffic accident and on the basis of full disability
  • pension or spouse's pension paid under the Military Injuries Act or the Act on Injuries Sustained in Military Service and based on full disability
  • comparable benefits from abroad.

You do not qualify for the housing allowance for pensioners if you are only paid

  • partial disability pension
  • part-time pension
  • partial early old-age pension

You can estimate the amount of housing allowance you would be entitled to with a calculator (in Finnish).

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Last modified 26/6/2024