Quick guide to housing benefits
If you have a low income and cannot meet your housing costs, you may have a right to housing benefits. The specific benefit available depends on your circumstances. This quick guide tells you how to apply for housing benefits.
Types of housing benefits
Types of housing benefits
Kela provides assistance with housing costs in a number of different ways. You can apply for general housing allowance, housing allowance for pensioners, housing assistance for conscripts, or a housing supplement for students. Find out which housing benefit is for you.Read more
General housing allowance
Who’s included in your household
Kela pays the housing allowance to the household as a whole. Typically everyone sharing a home is part of the same household. This means that the amount of the housing allowance depends on the income of all household members. The exception to this are persons under 18, whose income is relevant to the housing allowance only if they are claiming the allowance by themselves or together with their spouse or partner.Read more
Housing benefits are linked to gross income
The amount of housing benefits is linked to gross household income. The income is taken into account either as income received continuously or as an amount averaged over a certain period of time. An earnings deduction of EUR 300 is made for salary and self-employment income. This means that the income which is factored into the calculation of housing benefit is smaller than the actual income.Read more
Type of home
Assistance with housing costs is available for rental, right-of-occupancy, part-ownership and owner-occupied homes.
Kela covers 80% of acceptable housing costs. Acceptable housing costs are subject to certain limits which depend on the type of home you live in.Read more
Calculate the amount of housing benefit available to you
You can calculate your housing benefits.Read more
Apply for housing benefits
You can apply for housing allowance quickly and easily online. Housing allowance can be paid retroactively for one month before the month in which you file an application..
Remember to attach all necessary supporting documents. This will speed up the processing of your application.Apply now Read more
Kela sends you a decision on your application
On average, applications for housing allowance take three weeks to review. If housing allowance is awarded retroactively, the retroactive amounts are paid at once. The housing allowance is paid either into your own account or the account of your landlord.Read more
Report any changes in your circumstances as soon as possible
Changes in your income or personal circumstances may affect the amount of housing allowance available to you. Remember to report such changes to Kela.Read more
The housing allowance is reviewed at least once a year. Kela sends you a letter about the annual review of the allowance. You can complete the review either online or use a paper form. If you fail to request an annual review in time, payment of the housing allowance is discontinued.Read more
Housing allowance for pensioners
Housing assistance for students
Students will be covered under the general housing allowance scheme
Starting from 1 August 2017, students will be covered under the general housing allowance scheme. The housing supplement for students will remain available to certain specific groups of students, such as those studying abroad and students of folk high schools who live in a school dormitory.
Students can get general housing allowance under the same conditions as everyone else. It is not necessary to be an active student to qualify for housing allowance, but study grant payments count as income for housing allowance purposes.
Does the income of my roommate affect my housing benefits?
If you are renting a home with another person and you have a joint rental agreement, any housing benefits you get will also be shared between the two of you. This means that both of your incomes affect the amount of the housing benefits.
Your roommates should be prepared to provide information about their housing arrangements. Usually, Kela will regard two persons sharing a home to be cohabiting, and a cohabiting couple will always be considered to be part of the same household regardless of the kind of rental agreement they have.Read more
Housing assistance for conscripts
Housing assistance for those in active service
If you enter service and apply for housing assistance you will have to have lived independently for at least three months before entering service in order to qualify for the assistance.Read more