How to apply for the general housing allowance
- Use the OmaKela e-service to apply for general housing allowance. Please note that OmaKela is available in Finnish and Swedish only.
- Scan or take a photo of any supporting documents and send them through OmaKela. Enclose the following with the application:
- copy of your signed rental agreement
- proof of the amount of rent or maintenance charge if not shown in detail by other enclosed documentation such as the rental agreement or a rent increase notice.
- If information about your rental agreement is provided to Kela directly by your landlord, you need not enclose the rental agreement or any proof of the amount of rent you pay..
- Depending on your household's situation also enclose
- a copy of your employment contract, if the employment relationship has only just begun
- details of any other pensions or benefits you may receive from other sources besides Kela or your authorised pension provider.
- details of housing loans (remaining balance and interest rate)
- the authorisation form for communal households in Finnish or Swedish
- decision showing the award of a start-up grant if you are a new entrepreneur without YEL insurance cover
- PDF form Y 77e Notification of moving to Finland, if you are applying for general housing allowance for the first time since you moved to Finland, and your entitlement or the entitlement of another household member to Kela benefits has not yet been determined. More information on moving to Finland and Kela benefits.
- form Moving from Finland or employment abroad Y 38e (pdf), when you are reporting a move abroad or a period of residence abroad.
- Report the income of all your household members, because their income is relevant to the amount of the housing allowance. State the amount of income before deduction for taxes.
- Kela obtains salary information from the national incomes register. Kela uses this data when processing claims and applications. You will be contacted if additional information is required.
- Visit the OmaKela e-service to see if your application has been decided, how much you will get and when your benefits will be paid. You can also see possible reminders concerning, for instance, any documents missing from your application. You will also receive a decision letter at your home address.
Alternatively, you can complete and print out the form General housing allowance AT 1e (pdf). Send your application by post along with the supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.
When to apply
You can get housing allowance retroactively for up to one month from the month of application. For example, if you wish to get the allowance from January onward, your application must reach Kela before the end of February.
New payments of housing allowance begin on the first of the month. For example, if you have a rental agreement that comes into effect on 15 March, you will get housing allowance starting from 1 April.
Report changes in your circumstances
If your household’s income, housing costs or other circumstances change, your housing allowance will usually have to be reviewed.