The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) supports housing in a number of ways. The types of support available include general housing allowance, housing allowance for pensioners, housing assistance for conscripts and student housing supplement.
General housing allowance and housing allowance for pensioners are only granted for housing expenses for a dwelling in Finland. Housing assistance for conscripts and student housing supplement can also be paid for housing expenses for a dwelling in another country.
Generally you can only get one housing allowance at a time. When you apply for housing allowance from Kela, first check which is the right allowance for you and your family.
General housing allowance is designed to help households on low incomes with their housing costs. A household generally comprises the occupants of the dwelling, and housing allowance is granted to the household collectively.
The amount of housing allowance granted is affected by
- housing expenses
- the number of adults and children in the household
- the household’s combined income
- where the home is located.
To get general housing allowance, you must live in Finland permanently. Residence in Finland is determined based on the Act on residence-based social security in cross-border situations. Support is only granted for housing expenses for a dwelling in Finland.
Read more about general housing allowance on Kela’s website.
Housing allowance for pensioners is intended to help pensioners on low incomes with their housing expenses. You are eligible for housing allowance for pensioners if you live in Finland permanently, you have a low income and you receive a pension or payment that entitles you to housing allowance for pensioners. This housing allowance is not, however, granted to persons who get general housing allowance. You are considered to be resident in Finland if based on the Act on residence-based social security in cross-border situations you live in Finland.
The following can get housing allowance for pensioners
- persons living alone who qualify for housing allowance for pensioners
- married or co-habiting couples if one or both spouses/partners are eligible for housing allowance for pensioners
- households where all occupants are eligible for housing allowance for pensioners.
Housing allowance for pensioners is affected by your housing expenses, family situation (whether you are married/co-habiting or not) and your income and assets. Support is only granted for housing expenses for a dwelling in Finland.
Read more about housing allowance for pensioners on Kela’s website.
Housing assistance for conscripts is intended for conscripts or their family members. Conscripts means persons in the army or non-military service. Read more about housing assistance for conscripts on Kela’s website.
The student housing supplement is only available to
- those who study abroad and live in rental housing
- those who are in enrolled in a tuition-based programme in a Finnish folk high school, sports institute or the Sámi Education Institute, and who live in a school dormitory or
- those who study in the Åland islands and who live in rental housing.
Other persons studying in Finland get general housing allowance on the same basis as other persons. Read more about the student housing supplement and general housing allowance on Kela’s website.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.