Housing allowance


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the general planning, control and monitoring of the housing allowance legislation. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the Housing Supplement for Students. Housing allowances can be applied for at Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

The state uses housing allowances to help low-income households to manage their housing costs.

The general housing allowance scheme was reformed at the beginning of 2015. The grounds for granting housing allowance are laid down by law.

The maximum level of housing expenditure that can be taken into account varies regionally and depends on the size of the household. An income-dependent deductible is determined using a particular formula. The deductible also depends on the number of adults and minors in the household. The Act on General Housing Allowance provides that EUR 300 per month shall be deducted from the earned and entrepreneurial income of each member of the household when determining the housing allowance.

Students have been covered by the general housing allowance scheme since 1 August 2017.

Support for housing expenses

Housing allowances can be granted for the costs of a permanent residence located in Finland, whether a

  • rental apartment
  • owned apartment
  • right-of-occupancy apartment or
  • partially owned apartment.

Forms of housing allowance include

  • general housing allowance
  • housing allowance for pensioners
  • student housing supplement (available to students in special situations only, for studying abroad or in the Åland Islands)
  • housing assistance for conscripts (during their service time)

Housing allowance can be paid to families, couples, people living alone and people in shared accommodation

The general housing allowance is intended for households.  ‘Household’ means the people living in the same home.

General housing allowance can be granted to

  • families with children
  • married couples
  • cohabiting couples
  • people living alone
  • people living in shared accommodation.

Married couples can be opposite-sex or same-sex couples. The same applies to cohabiting couples.

Pensioners can receive assistance from the housing allowance system for pensioners.

Conscript's allowance can be paid as housing assistance to conscripts, civilian servicemen and women in voluntary military service as well as to their family members. They can receive this assistance during the person’s service time.

Housing allowances can be applied for at Kela

Kela pays all housing allowances so they can be applied for at Kela.

How to appeal against decisions on housing allowances and housing supplement

A decision will always include instructions on how to appeal against it. If you are dissatisfied with a housing allowance decision, you  may appeal to the Social Security Appeal Board, or in case of decisions on student housing supplement to the Student Financial Aid Appeal Board.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health does not process appeals, objections or complaints.

Further information

Mikko Horko, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Insurance and Social Security / SVO, Benefits Unit / ETU Telephone:0295163344   Email Address: