Concepts: Statistics on general housing allowance

Statistical units


Recipients are households which during the reference period have received regular payments of general housing allowance. The allowance is paid to the household collectively. All persons permanently sharing a home are part of the same household. Anyone with a separate lease on part of the residence is considered to form a separate household.

Expenditure on general housing allowance

The data on general housing allowance expenditures include all benefit payments made during the reference period, including both regular payments and amounts recovered or repaid.

Housing costs

The full amount of the rent is recorded in the statistics. However, housing costs exceeding a specified maximum amount are not taken into account when calculating the allowance. This is in contrast to separate charges for water or heating which are recorded in the statistics at a specified fixed rate.

The full amounts of maintenance fees for units in a housing cooperative and interest payments on housing loans are recorded in the statistics. The costs of maintenance on single-family homes are recorded at the rates specified in the legislation.

Income relevant to the housing allowance

Income relevant to the housing allowance is the household income which affects the amount of the housing allowance. The amounts recorded in the statistics are those prior to any earnings deduction.

Statistical classifications


The basis for the regional classifications used in the statistics is the municipality in which the dwelling is located.


Households with children under age 18 are classified as families with children. The data on households’ circumstances are based on income data for the household members.


Dwellings are classified as rental or owner-occupied. Rental dwellings also include right-of-occupancy and partial-ownership dwellings. Owner-occupied dwellings include units in a housing cooperative and single-family homes.

Housing financing data are based on data from the Population Register Centre.

Living area data are from the Population Register Centre, with possible modifications made by the Kela benefit administration.