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Applying for housing benefit for the first time or for a new application

If you have only a low income, you can apply for housing subsidies to relieve your housing costs.

The housing allowance is intended to provide you with adequate housing that is suitable for your family. You can receive housing benefit as

  • rent subsidy for tenants or subtenants of living space or for residents of a home (home residents as defined by the respective state law, this also includes people with disabilities who are not only temporarily admitted for the provision of integration assistance in special forms of housing) or as a
  • Burden allowance for owners of their own home or condominium.


If the costs of housing are covered by another social benefit agency, you are not entitled to a housing allowance. This is the case if you already receive

  • Citizen's income or
  • basic income support in old age or
  • in case of reduced earning capacity or
  • assistance for living expenses or
  • you are receiving another transfer benefit for which the costs of accommodation have been taken into account in the calculation.


You must be eligible for housing assistance as an applicant. You are eligible for a housing subsidy as:

  • Tenant of housing,
  • Subtenant of housing,
  • Residents of a cooperative apartment or a congregate apartment,
  • residents of a home,
  • tenants with tenancy-like rights of use, in particular holders of a tenancy-like permanent right of residence,
  • owners of an apartment building (three or more apartments), a commercial building or a business enterprise, if you live in this building,
  • owners of a one- or two-family house in which you live, but which also contains business premises to such an extent that it can no longer be considered a home,
  • owners of a full-time agricultural business whose residential part is not separated from the business part.
  • women living in women's shelters, even if the remuneration is calculated on a daily basis.
  • a person who is placed in homeless shelters or third party housing by the homelessness authority, even if the user fee (which is not, for example, calculated according to the number of days or graded according to adults and children) is paid to the homelessness authority,

You are eligible for a housing subsidy as:

  • Owner of a home or condominium,
  • Owners of a small housing estate,
  • Owners of a part-time agricultural business,
  • the owner of a full-time agricultural business, if the residential part and the business part are separated from each other and the residential part is eligible for a housing allowance,
  • owners of a permanent right of residence similar to ownership
  • holders of hereditary building rights and those who are entitled to transfer of ownership of the building or dwelling or to transfer or grant of hereditary building rights.
  • The owner of the living space must occupy the living space and bear the burden for this.

What documents do I need?

  • Comment

    It is best to contact the responsible office in advance to ask for the documents required for you. In principle, you must provide the following proof of housing costs or burden:

  • Documents about transfer services

    For example, assistance with living costs, social benefits, basic benefits for old age and reduced earning capacity, benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz)

  • Certificate of merit

    Increased income-related expenses are to be proven according to the tax assessment notice, current notices on pension payments of any kind, on benefits according to the Third Book of the Social Code - Employment Promotion (for example, unemployment benefit I, short-time allowance, transitional allowance)

  • Proof of sick pay and other wage replacement benefits
  • for self-employed persons/traders: last tax assessment notice
  • Income of all household members

    To be on the safe side, please declare all income of all household members in money or money's worth, regardless of its source and regardless of whether the income is taxable or not. In this way, you will avoid unnecessary queries. The housing allowance office will then check which of the incomes are chargeable.

  • Students: Certificate of enrollment
  • If applicable: proof of health insurance
  • If applicable: proof of pension or life insurance coverage
  • If applicable: annex to the application for housing allowance in case of expenses for the fulfillment of legal maintenance obligations.
  • If applicable: severely disabled person's certificate (if applicable, proof of care allowance payments)
  • If applicable: proof of residence status

    In the case of foreigners from third countries, proof of residence status and duration of stay must be submitted.

    Other EU citizens must submit a certificate of right of residence/EU residence permit and registration with the registration office.

  • You will also need the following documents to apply for a rent subsidy:

    Landlord Certification Form (usually provided by housing assistance agencies).

  • You will need the following documents to apply for an encumbrance subsidy:
    • Form for determining the burden from the debt service
    • Proof of the burden from the debt service (certificate of borrowed funds, last payment voucher, interest and redemption schedule, if applicable)
    • Proof of the amount of the purchase price or construction costs (also for modernizations)
    • Real estate tax assessment notice/proof of the amount of ground rents
    • If applicable, proof of income from the transfer of rooms and areas to third parties
    • Calculation of living space in accordance with DIN 277 or the Living Space Ordinance (WoFlV, building application)
    • If applicable, notice of the building subsidy
    • Proof of ownership, excerpt from land register, purchase contract