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Report: A quarter of housing benefit recipients live in Helsinki region

About a quarter of all households that receive housing allowance are based in Helsinki and the surrounding cities, and two-thirds are one-person households.

Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Statistics relased by Finland’s Social Insurance Institution (Kela) on Friday show that last year 470,000 households in Finland received housing allowances and of them 25 percent were located in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

Most people who claimed general housing allowance were under 35 years of age and lived alone. The number of one-person households among the recipients grew to 66 percent last year from 60 percent in 2013-2016.

According to Kela, the increase in these demographic groups can be explained by new rules that transferred students to the general housing allowance scheme in 2017.

The figures show that about half of housing allowance recipients reside in other large Finnish cities and communities neighbouring them, and on average, households claimed the benefit for 15 months.

A large portion of people who claim housing allowances live on basic social support, such as labour market subsidies, says senior researcher Signe Jauhiainen from Kela.

”Housing allowance plays a significant role in providing income to households, particularly single parents,” she said.

Last year, Kela paid out approximately 2 billion euros in housing allowances.

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