General housing allowance

The general housing allowance is intended to help low-income households with their housing costs.

Students to be covered under the general housing allowance scheme

Students were transferred to the general housing allowance scheme on 1 August 2017.

They will become eligible for general housing allowance on the same terms as everyone else. This means that months of study or the maximum time limits for financial aid will not be considered when awarding housing benefits.

Kela pays the housing allowance to the household as a whole.

Persons who are considered to part of the same household:

  • married and cohabiting couples or minor children living in the same or different dwelling
  • close relatives (grandparents, parents and children) living in the same dwelling
  • persons renting a home under a joint rental agreement
  • persons renting a home under separate rental agreements if collectively they pay rent for the entire home.

Persons who are not considered to be part of the same household:

  • persons renting part of a home under separate rental agreements, if they are not close relatives and they are not collectively responsible for paying rent for the entire home
  • a tenant and a subtenant unless they are close relatives.

Students can claim general housing allowance either online (in Finnish) or on form AT 1e.

Social assistance is a form of last-resort financial support

You can apply for basic social assistance from Kela if all your earnings and assets and other social security benefits that you may have been awarded (such as the general housing allowance) are not sufficient to cover your necessary everyday living expenses, such as food and housing.

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