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Housing allowance initial application

Legal status: 01.01.2023

Rent subsidy (housing subsidy for tenants) or encumbrance subsidy (housing subsidy for owners) could be due to you if you have a low income, e.g. below € 1465.00 net for single persons and if you do not receive any other social benefits.

Receive rent subsidy:

  • Tenant of an apartment or room
  • Owners of an apartment building with three or more apartments, if the house is owner-occupied

Residents of a home within the meaning of the Bremen Housing and Care Act (Bremisches Wohn- und Betreuungsgesetz), if they are not only temporarily accommodated

Owners receive an encumbrance allowance:

  • of an owner-occupied home
  • of an owner-occupied apartment
  • of a commercial building or a commercial enterprise, if the building is owner-occupied
  • Owners of an apartment building with three or more apartments, if the house is owner-occupied, must apply for a rent subsidy

Whether housing assistance can be claimed, and if so, how much, depends primarily on three factors:

  • Number of household members to be considered
  • Amount of the total income
  • Amount of rent

The total income is the sum of the annual incomes of the household members to be taken into account minus certain exemptions and deductions.

Contact Person

In the case of a rent subsidy, the rent is subsidized without heating costs, hot water and electricity, plus the amount for relief from heating costs and the climate component.

In the case of an encumbrance subsidy, the financial burden plus the amount for the relief of heating costs and the climate component is subsidized. The costs must be paid by the owner, not by third parties.


The rent or charge is only eligible up to a certain maximum amount plus the amount to relieve heating costs.

Housing allowance is not paid to:

Recipients of the following social benefits, if costs of accommodation have been taken into account in the calculation of the benefit:

  • Unemployment benefit II / citizen's allowance and social benefit.
  • Benefits for trainees in accordance with § 27 Para. 3 of the Second Book of the German Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch)
  • Transitional allowance and injury allowance, each in the amount of the unemployment benefit II / citizen's allowance, also in the case of advances and advance payments on transitional allowance or injury allowance
  • Basic income support in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity
  • Assistance for subsistence
  • Supplementary assistance for subsistence or other assistance in an inpatient institution covering subsistence under the Federal Supply Act or under a law declaring it applicable
  • Benefits in special cases and basic benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act
  • Child and youth welfare benefits if the household is exclusively home to recipients of these benefits

Are not entitled to housing benefits:

  • Single trainees or students who are entitled on the merits to
  • benefits for support according to BAföG or SGB III or would be entitled to such benefits if they applied for them (i.e. if these benefits are not paid only because their own income or that of their parents exceeds the permissible amount).
    Exception: You are entitled to a housing allowance if the educational assistance benefits are granted exclusively as a loan or if you live together with other household members who are not entitled to BAföG or vocational training allowance on the merits of the case.
  • Single persons who receive benefits according to the so-called MobiPro (promotion of vocational mobility of young people interested in training and unemployed young professionals from Europe) or if all household members are recipients of this benefit

What documents do I need?

  • Rental contract at the time of the first application

    only for rent subsidy

  • Proof of payment of rent by the landlord, alternatively the last 3 bank statements

    only for rent subsidy

  • Last rent change letter

    only for rent subsidy

  • Notification of water and drainage charges

    only for rent subsidy

  • Service charge settlement

    only for rent subsidy

  • Notarised purchase contract at the initial application

    only for load subsidy

  • Extract from the land register on first application

    only for load subsidy

  • Loan agreements of the initial financing at the time of the initial application

    only for load subsidy

  • Proof of the production costs - if the financing is higher than the purchase price - in the form of proof of notary and court costs of the brokerage fees and the land transfer tax

    only for load subsidy

  • Current property tax assessment and proof of payment

    only for load subsidy

  • Annual interest notifications of the previous year for all loans and building society contracts

    only for load subsidy

  • Proof of payment of the loan instalments

    only for load subsidy

  • Business plan for condominiums

    only for load subsidy

  • Proof of the housekeeping allowance, if applicable

    only for load subsidy

  • If applicable, notification of the home ownership subsidy granted

    only for load subsidy

  • Copy of all documents

    For both rent and encumbrance subsidies.

  • Notification of receipt of care allowance

    in case of existing severe disability.

    Both for rent and burden subsidy.

  • Certificate of matriculation

    For students.

    Both for rent and load subsidy.

  • School certificate

    for children aged 16 and over.

    For both rent and burden allowance.

  • Last tax assessment / last tax return, profit and loss account

    For self-employed persons.

    For both rent and burden allowance.

  • Notification of unemployment benefit I or II or notification of assistance with subsistence or basic support

    For unemployed persons or welfare recipients.

    For both rent and rent allowance.

  • All proof of income of the household members in the last 12 months

    e.g. certificate of earnings, tax-exempt income and investment income.

    For both rental and encumbrance subsidies.