Who can get general housing allowance

If you have a small income, you can be granted general housing allowance from Kela. The purpose of the general housing allowance is to help you with your housing costs. The allowance is available for

  • rental homes
  • owner-occupied homes
  • right-of-occupancy homes
  • part-ownership homes

Students can get housing allowance under the same conditions as everyone else. Pensioners with a low income can usually get a housing allowance for pensioners.

What is a household?

Housing allowance can be paid to households consisting of a single person or several persons. A household usually comprises the permanent occupants of a dwelling.

The housing allowance is granted to the household collectively. The amount of the allowance is affected by the incomes of all household members. You can only be the member of one household at a time.

The application is made by one household member on behalf of all residents. Persons who are part of different households can apply for housing allowance separately.

The following persons are always considered to be part of the same household:

  • married spouses and cohabiting partners
  • persons who have rented a home under a joint rental agreement.

Same household or different households?

Describe your living arrangements in your application

If you share a home with another person and you have separate rental or sublease agreements, you can provide more detail about your situation in the application. You can describe your circumstances, including whether you are roommates or are cohabiting. You can also describe what parts of the home are used by yourself and how you are dividing up the living space.

Kela will consider your case based on your description and may ask you to provide further information.

Kela takes into account such factors as

  • the reasons for moving together
  • the size of the flat or house
  • the duration of your residential arrangement
  • your age
  • whether you have lived together in the past

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