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

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

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

apply for.

If the costs of accommodation are covered by another social welfare agency, you are not entitled to housing benefit. This is the case if you are 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 costs of accommodation.

Process flow

As a rule, housing benefit is granted for 12 months.

The approval period is 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 locally responsible housing benefit 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,
  • subtenants of living space,
  • residents of a cooperative or monastery apartment,
  • Residents of a home,
  • tenant-like beneficiaries, 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 commercial enterprise, if you live in this house,
  • 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 private home,
  • Holders of a full-time agricultural occupation whose residential part is not separated from the economic part.
  • Women who live in women's shelters, even if the pay is calculated on a daily basis.
  • a person who is admitted to homeless shelters or to third-party housing by the homeless authority, even if the usage fee (which is not, for example, measured 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 business,
  • Owners of a full-time agricultural job, if the residential and economic 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 property
  • Persons entitled to heritable building rights and those who are entitled to transfer ownership of the building or apartment or to the transfer or granting of the heritable building right.

The occupant of the dwelling must occupy the dwelling and bear the burden for it.

Which documents are required?

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

  • on 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,
  • current notices of pension payments of any kind,
  • on 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 sick pay and other wage replacement benefits,
  • last tax assessment (for self-employed/tradespeople).

To be sure, 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 will help you avoid unnecessary queries. The housing benefit office will then check which of the income can be credited. If necessary, other evidence must be attached:

  • Certificate of enrolment (students),
  • BAföG notification (students),
  • Declaration of monthly allowances from parents during their studies,
  • Proof of health insurance,
  • proof of pension or life insurance,
  • Attachment to the application for housing benefit in the case of expenses for the fulfilment of statutory maintenance obligations,
  • Severely disabled person's ID card (if applicable, proof of care allowance payments).
  • In the case of foreigners from third countries, proof of residence status and the duration of residence must be presented.
  • Other EU citizens must present 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 determining the encumbrance from the capital service
  • Proof of the encumbrance from the capital service (borrowed funds certificate, last payment receipt, interest and repayment schedule, if applicable)
  • Proof of the amount of the purchase price or construction costs (also in the case of modernizations)
  • Property tax assessment/proof of the amount of ground rent
  • If applicable, proof of income from the provision of rooms and areas to third parties
  • Living space calculation according to DIN 277 or the Living Space Ordinance (WoFlV, building application)
  • If applicable, notification of the Baukindergeld
  • Proof of ownership, land register extract, 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 is made from the 1st of the month in which the application was submitted.

Processing duration

A decision on the application will be made 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 will not be 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.



You can find more information on how to file a lawsuit in the notification of your application for housing benefit.

What else should I know?

There are the following notes:

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

For example, it may be compared:

  • whether citizen's allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is paid while receiving housing benefit,
  • whether there is employment subject to compulsory insurance or marginal employment
  • or the amount of investment income 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, there is the possibility of retrieving accounts at 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 correct information in the housing benefit application
    • to income from employment,
    • income from one or more pensions,
    • have been made into income from investment income (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefits has been discontinued in the event of original unemployment (for example, due to the taking up of a new job) and
  • whether the original apartment for which housing benefit was paid is actually still in use.

The review is permissible until the expiry of ten years after the announcement 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.

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Besondere Leistungen
Address: Herzog-Arenberg-Straße 12, 49716 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible


Christina Behrens
Telephone: 05931 44-6313
responsible for:
Günter Lahuis
Telephone: 05931 44-6413
responsible for:

Data protection information

Landkreis Emsland
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

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)