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Applying for housing benefit for the first time or for the first time

The housing allowance is intended to enable you to live appropriately and family-friendly. You can apply for housing benefit as a

  • Rent subsidy for tenants or subtenants of living space or for residents of a nursing home (nursing home residents within the meaning of the respective state law; this also includes people with disabilities who are not only temporarily admitted for the purpose of providing integration assistance in special forms of housing) or as
  • Burden subsidy for owners of a home or condominium

apply for.

If the cost of accommodation is covered by another social security provider, you are not entitled to housing benefit. This is the case if you already

  • Citizen's Allowance or
  • Basic security in old age or
  • in the event of reduced earning capacity or
  • Assistance with subsistence or
  • receive another transfer benefit, the calculation of which has taken into account the cost of accommodation.

Process flow

As a rule, the housing allowance is granted for 12 months.

The approval period will be shortened accordingly if it is to be expected that the circumstances relevant to the payment of housing benefit will change before the expiry of 12 months.

An application for continued benefits is possible at the earliest two months before the end of the approval period. The approval period can be found in the current decision.

Who should I contact?

To your local housing allowance authority


As an applicant, you must be entitled to housing benefit. You are entitled to housing benefit for a rent subsidy as:

  • tenants of housing,
  • Subtenant of living space,
  • Residents of a cooperative or monastery apartment,
  • Residents of a nursing home,
  • tenant-like beneficiaries, in particular holders of a tenant-like permanent right of residence,
  • Owners of an apartment building (three or more apartments), a commercial building or a commercial enterprise, if you live in this building,
  • Owners of a detached or semi-detached house in which you live, but which also contains business premises to such an extent that it can no longer be regarded as a home,
  • Holders of a full-time agricultural job whose residential part is not separated from the economic part.
  • Women who live in women's shelters, even if the remuneration is calculated on a daily basis.
  • a person who has been admitted to homeless shelters or to the housing of third parties by the homeless authority, even if the user fee (which is not calculated, for example, by the number of days or staggered according to adults and children) is paid to the homeless authority,

You are entitled to housing benefit for a burden subsidy as:

  • owners of a home or condominium,
  • owners of a small housing estate,
  • owners of a part-time agricultural job,
  • Owners of a full-time agricultural job, if the residential and commercial parts are separated from each other and a housing benefit burden calculation can be made for the residential part,
  • Holders of a permanent right of residence similar to ownership
  • Leaseholders and those who are entitled to transfer ownership of the building or apartment or to transfer or grant the heritable building right.

The owner of the living space must live in the living space and bear the burden of doing so.

Which documents are required?

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

  • via transfer payments (e.g. assistance for subsistence, social benefits, basic security in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity, benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act)
  • Certificate of earnings for the application for housing benefit,
  • increased income-related expenses must be proven according to the tax assessment,
  • up-to-date notices of pension payments of any kind,
  • about benefits according to the Third Book of the Social Code - Employment Promotion (e.g. unemployment benefit I, short-time work allowance, transitional allowance),
  • Proof of sickness benefit and other wage replacement benefits,
  • last tax assessment (for self-employed/tradespeople).

To be on the safe side, please declare all income of all household members in money or monetary value, regardless of its source and regardless of whether the income is taxable or not. This avoids unnecessary queries. The housing allowance office will then check which of the income can be credited. If applicable, other supporting documents must be attached:

  • Certificate of enrolment (students),
  • BAföG notification (students),
  • Declaration of monthly allowances from parents during studies,
  • Proof of health insurance,
  • Proof of pension or life insurance,
  • Appendix to the application for housing benefit in the case of expenses for the fulfilment of statutory maintenance obligations,
  • Severely disabled person's ID card (proof of care allowance payments, if applicable).
  • In the case of foreigners from third countries, proof of residence status and duration of residence must be submitted.
  • Other EU citizens must submit a certificate of the right of residence/EU residence permit as well as a registration with the registration authority.

To apply for a rent subsidy, you will also need the completed form:

  • Landlord Certificate Form (usually provided by the housing benefit authorities.)

To apply for a burden subsidy, you will also need the following forms/proofs:

  • Form for calculating the charge from capital service
  • Proof of the charge from the capital service (certificate of borrowed funds, last proof of payment, interest and repayment plan, if applicable)
  • Proof of the amount of the purchase price or construction costs (also in the case of modernization)
  • Property tax assessment/proof of the amount of ground rent
  • If applicable, proof of income from the transfer of rooms and areas to third parties
  • Calculation of living space according to DIN 277 or the Living Space Ordinance (WoFlV, building application)
  • If applicable, notification of the construction child benefit
  • Proof of ownership, extract from the land register, purchase contract

What are the fees?

Fee: free of charge

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

In the event of a positive decision, payment will be made from the 1st of the month in which the application was submitted.

Processing duration

A decision on the application will be taken immediately. The processing time depends, among other things, on the completeness of your information and the submission of the evidence required for the processing of the application.

Longer processing times are not at your expense: the entitlement to housing benefit will be checked from the month of application. If you are entitled to housing benefit, you will not lose any housing benefit.



For more information on how to file a claim, please refer to the notice of your application for housing benefit.

What else should I know?

There are the following tips:

In order to avoid or detect the unlawful use of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority may regularly check the information provided by all household members by means of a data comparison – also in automated form – in particular with the data centre of the pension insurance.

For example, it may be compared,

  • whether citizens' allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is paid while receiving housing benefit,
  • whether there is a compulsory or marginal employment
  • or the amount of capital gains for which an exemption order has been issued.

It is also possible to compare with the registration authority on registration addresses, housing status and time of re-registration. In addition, it is possible to retrieve an account from the Federal Central Tax Office. Suspected cases of fraud are generally reported to the public prosecutor's office.

Through these checks, the housing benefit authority can determine, for example,

  • whether housing benefit is received more than once,
  • whether transfer benefits leading to exclusion from housing benefit are received at the same time,
  • whether the correct information in the housing benefit application
    • income from employment,
    • income from one or more pensions,
    • income from investment income (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefit was stopped in the event of initial unemployment (e.g. due to taking up a new job) and
  • whether the original dwelling for which housing benefit was paid is still actually in use.

The review is permissible up to the expiry of ten years after the notification of the corresponding housing benefit approval.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitalisation


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)