Assistance with housing costs

Kela offers a range of housing benefits. You can normally be paid only one housing benefit at a time. When applying for housing benefit, be sure to check which benefit is right for you and your family.

The general housing allowance is intended for low-income households. It is available for both rental and owner-occupied homes.

The housing allowance for pensioners is intended for low-income pensioners

  • who live alone  
  • who live with a spouse or partner
  • who share their home with other persons who are entitled to a housing allowance for pensioners. 

Persons doing compulsory military service are entitled to housing assistance for conscripts , It can also be paid to their family members.

Conscripts who first apply for help with housing costs when entering conscript service are not paid general housing allowance but conscript’s allowance. However, conscripts who secured housing immediately before starting conscript service, or during conscript service, are usually not eligible for conscript's allowance and can therefore apply for general housing allowance.

For conscripts who are being paid general housing allowance when they start service, Kela pays the difference between their housing costs and the housing allowance while they are completing their service.

Housing supplement for students is only available to

  • students studying abroad or in the Åland Islands who live in rental housing
  • students enrolled in a tuition-based programme at a Finnish folk high school, sports institute or the Sámi Education Institute who live in a school dormitory
  • Åland Islands students

The housing supplement for foreign study can be granted to

  • students of a foreign or Åland Islands educational institution
  • students studying in a Finnish educational institution who are completing a study unit abroad.

If your school offers you the possibility of free housing in a dormitory (e.g. the National Defence University), you cannot get the housing supplement for students or the general housing allowance, unless there are particular reasons why you cannot accept the offer of dormitory housing.

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