How to apply for the general housing allowance

  1. Apply for the general housing allowance online. Log in to the e-service using your online bank credentials or a mobile ID. Please note that the e-service is available in Finnish and Swedish only.

    Apply for general housing benefit online

    You can send your application and supporting documents conveniently by using our e-service. Clearly legible documents photographed with a phone are accepted.

    Apply for benefits
  2. Scan or take a photo of any supporting documents and send them online. Enclose the following with the application:
    • copy of written 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 rent increase notice.
  3. Depending on your household's situation, also enclose
  4. Visit our e-service to see if your application has been decided, how much you will get and when you will be paid. You can also see any possible reminders concerning, for instance, documents missing from your application. A written decision on your application will be sent to you by post.

Alternatively, you can complete and print out the application form General housing allowance (AT1e, PDF). Mail your application along with the supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

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. However, please note that you must notify Kela of any changes in your income.

When to apply

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.

You can get housing allowance retroactively for up to one month from the month of application.

Go to Kela's online service to see whether your application has been decided and when the benefit you may have been granted will be paid. For information about how long the processing of an application usually takes, see ‘Application process for benefits’.

Report changes

You must notify Kela without delay of the following changes:

  • The gross monthly income of your household increases by EUR 400 or more.
  • The acceptable housing costs of your household decrease by at least EUR 50.
  • You move house or move out of a home for which you were granted housing allowance.
  • You or another member of your household gains eligibility for the housing allowance for pensioners.
  • The number of persons in your household, or the composition of your household, changes permanently.
  • A member of your household moves abroad or stays abroad for a period of time.
  • Your household takes on a subtenant or a subtenancy ends.
  • The type of tenure for your household’s dwelling changes.
  • You get married or your marriage ends.
  • You begin or end a cohabiting relationship.

Report changes online or on application form AT1e ‘Application – General housing allowance’.

  • When reporting a move abroad or a stay abroad, you should also fill in the form ‘Moving from Finland or employment abroad’ (Y38e) and enclose it with your application.

If you do not report changes, you may be paid housing allowance without due grounds or at the wrong rate. If the amount is reviewed down, the reduced amount will apply from the date of review. In that case, it will be recovered from you later.

You should also notify Kela without delay if

  • the gross monthly income of your household decreases by at least EUR 200 per month
  • the acceptable housing costs of your household increase by at least EUR 50.

If the amount of the housing allowance is reviewed upwards, Kela will pay the increased allowance from the beginning of the month preceding that in which the application was submitted.

Also, remember to check how any changes in your circumstances affect other benefits paid by Kela.

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