Housing assistance for conscripts

Housing assistance is provided for the actual housing costs for rental, right-of-occupancy, partial-ownership or owner-occupied accommodation.

These are:

  • rent
  • housing corporation maintenance fee
  • separate heating and water costs
  • Interest on housing loans
  • interest on loans taken out to finance home repairs or to pay the right-of-occupancy fee
  • electricity and gas bills
  • maintenance costs for a single-family home.

Electricity and water bills are paid if they are due during service or during the last calendar month of service. If the person performing their service is in a cohabiting relationship, the housing assistance covers his or her share of the electricity bill. Usually the assistance is paid into the bank account of the person performing their service, and the bill is paid by the couple themselves.

The assistance does not cover internet, sauna or parking fees, rental security deposits, advance payments for rent, the real estate agent's commission, property tax, or home insurance.

Who can get basic assistance

Kela can pay housing assistance either to the person performing their service or to their spouse/partner or child.

You qualify as a family member if you are

  • a married spouse or registered partner
  • a cohabiting partner who has a child with the person in active service
  • a child who is in the custody of the person in active service.

Cohabiting partners are not considered family members if they do not have a child with the person performing their service.

Married spouses or registered partners cannot get housing assistance if they are separated from their spouse or partner.

Persons performing their service get free lodging, which means that Kela does not provide housing assistance. However, those performing alternative non-military service can get housing assistance for their principal residence.

Persons performing their service who live in a rental apartment

Persons performing conscript or other service can get housing assistance from Kela for a rental apartment only if they live there permanently, meaning that they rented their apartment at least three months before entering service.

However, if there are good reasons, Kela may provide compensation for the cost of accommodation acquired less than three months before entering service or even during the service. Such reasons include starting a family, finding a home after a long wait, and beginning work or study outside one's home locality soon after ending service (within 2-3 months).

Simply wanting to live independently or no longer being welcome in one's parental home are not regarded as acceptable reasons.

If the person performing their service lived independently before entering the service, he or she can move to a new home either before or during the service.

Cohabiting partners living in rental housing

Persons performing conscript or other service who do not have a child with their cohabiting partner can get half of their rent from Kela.

They can get housing assistance even if Kela pays the couple collectively a general housing allowance. In that case half of the couple's housing costs and half of the general housing allowance are allocated to the person performing their service. The housing assistance covers the difference between those two amounts.

Cohabiting partners living in owner-occupied housing

If a person performing conscript or other service does not have a child with their cohabiting partner, and the two are joint owners of their home, Kela pays the person performing their service half of their housing costs.

One cohabiting partner is the sole owner of the home

If the cohabiting partner of a person performing conscript or other service is the sole owner of the couple's home, the person performing their service can get housing assistance towards mortgage interest payments provided that he or she contributed to them before entering the service. Proof of payment must be submitted for interest payments.

Other housing costs are shared equally between the couple. It is not necessary to submit proof that the person performing conscript or other service has contributed to housing costs.

If Kela pays cohabiting partners jointly a general housing allowance, the share of the person performing conscript or other service is considered to be one half of the couple's housing costs and one half of the general housing allowance. The housing assistance covers the difference between those two amounts.

Housing costs of a foreign resident entering service in Finland

Kela can pay housing assistance for the costs of maintaining a home outside Finland. The assistance is paid towards the housing costs of a foreign resident performing conscript or other service in Finland or that of his or her family member. A detailed statement of the costs must be submitted.

Housing assistance from Kela may also be available for the costs of renting a home in Finland for the duration of the service. In that case the assistance paid by Kela is equal to the cost of renting a one-room apartment in the city or town where the person is performing their service. Other housing costs are covered in the same way as they are for Finnish residents.