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Increase in housing benefit expenditures more moderate in 2017
Kela paid a total of EUR 2,003 million in housing benefits in 2017. This was 4% more than in the previous year. Nearly 860,000 persons lived in households that received housing benefits, representing 15% of the Finnish population.
Kela provides the following housing benefits: general housing allowance, housing allowance for pensioners, student housing supplement and housing assistance for conscripts. Housing costs are also taken into account when reviewing an application for basic social assistance.
Spending on general housing allowances has increased rapidly. There was an upswing in housing benefit expenditure after Parliament passed an amendment in 2015 which simplified the system, relaxed eligibility conditions and expanded the scope of recipients. In 2017, spending on the general housing allowance increased by 17% as the majority of students were transferred from the student housing supplement scheme to the general housing allowance scheme in August of that year.
Students now make up nearly a third of all general housing allowance recipients
Students living in rented accommodation in mainland Finland were transferred to the general housing allowance scheme in August 2017.
A total of 381,500 households were active recipients of general housing allowance as of December 2017. Forty percent were unemployed households and thirty-seven percent student households. One year before, a total of 267,400 households were paid general housing allowance, 59% of whom were unemployed households and 8% students.
The transition of students to the general housing allowance scheme increased the number of recipients. The number of other recipients stayed the same in 2017 and even declined somewhat towards the end of the year. In December 2017, a total of 240,652 non-student households received general housing allowance, compared with 245,537 in December 2016.
For most, the general housing allowance is a temporary form of assistance
The mean duration of new housing allowance spells beginning in 2013–2016 was about 20 months. The majority of the recipients are young people, who move off the allowance more quickly than other recipient groups.
Single-parent households have longer spells on general housing allowance than persons living alone or households with more than one adult member.
- Yli kolmasosa yleisen asumistuen saajista nyt opiskelijoita (Students now account for more than a third of those on general housing allowance)
- Asumistukea tarvitsevat eniten nuoret ja yksin asuvat (Greatest need for housing allowance seen among young people and those living alone)
- Asumistukimenojen kasvu taittui vuonna 2017 (Increase in housing benefit expenditures more moderate in 2017)
- Yleistä asumistukea maksettiin vuonna 2016 yli miljardi euroa (Total expenditure on the general housing allowance in 2016 exceeds one billion euros)
- Statistical survey: Asumistukimenojen kasvu taittui vuonna 2017 (Increase in housing benefit expenditures more moderate in 2017)
- Kelan asumistukitilasto (Kela statistics on housing benefits)
- General housing allowance statistics
- Statistics on the housing allowance for pensioners
- Opiskelijat saavat nyt enemmän tukea asumiseen (Students now get more help with their housing costs)
- Asumistuen uudistaminen – mitä maksaa ja kuka maksaa? (Housing benefits reform – What are the costs and who will cover them?)
- Asumistuki on suurimmalle osalle tilapäinen tuki (For most, housing benefits are a temporary form of assistance)
- Sosiaaliturvamenot tulee laittaa mittasuhteisiin (Social expenditures should be viewed in the right perspective)
- Ketkä vuokranantajista saivat eniten asumistukea? (Which landlords were paid the largest amounts of housing benefit?)
- Asumistuki syynä vuokrien nousuun? (Are housing benefits behind the rise in rents?)
- Asumistuen kohoavat kustannukset – miten yleisen asumistuen vuoden 2015 lakiuudistus vaikutti? (The rising cost of housing benefits – What was the impact of the 2015 amendment of the general housing allowance law?)
- Asumistuen kohoavat kustannukset – miten työtulojen suojaosan käyttöönotto vaikutti? (The rising cost of housing benefits – What was the impact of introducing an exempt amount for earned income?)
- Asumistuen menot kasvavat – mikä neuvoksi? (The rising cost of housing benefits – Where do we go from here?)
- Toimeentulotuki – tilapäisestä vähimmäisturvasta asumistukien täydentäjäksi (Social assistance – From temporary relief to a supplementary form of housing aid)
Lectures and presentations
- 16 March 2018 Toimivatko asumisen tuet? -seminaarin videotallenne ja materiaalit (Do housing benefits work? Video recording and seminar materials)
- Presentations by Kela researchers on SlideShare
Research published outside Kela’s own series
- Honkanen P. Yksin asuvat asumistuen saajat Helsingissä. [Recipients of housing benefits living in one-person households in Helsinki.] In: Väliniemi-Laurson J, Borg P, Keskinen V, eds. Yksin kaupungissa. [Alone in the city] Helsinki: Helsingin kaupungin tietokeskus, 2016: 183–188.
Signe Jauhiainen, tel. +358 50 331 3982
Heidi Kemppinen, tel. +358 20 634 1307