If you have low income and high living expenses, you may apply to the municipality for a housing allowance (bostøtte). Housing allowance is a governmental, means-tested support scheme.
The municipality and the Norwegian State Housing Bank (Husbanken) cooperate in the housing allowance scheme. The municipality processes the application and serves as the point of contact for you as an applicant, while the Norwegian State Housing Bank makes the final decision.
Everyone aged 18 or above, except for students without children and persons currently performing their compulsory military service, can apply for a housing allowance. You can also apply if you are
- younger than 18 and have your own children
- a student without children, and your studies are a part of a public employment scheme
- a student with children
- a student without the right to benefits from The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund
- a parent to a student living at home
- a parent to one in initial military service not living at home
- The residence must be independent, that is to say it has its own entrance, restroom/toilet, kitchen solution, and resting facility.
- If you share a residence with others, you may be granted a housing allowance for health or social reasons. You can also be granted a housing allowance if you live in a shared residence assigned to you by the municipality.
You can apply for a housing allowance either electronically or on a special paper form. The application deadline for a housing allowance is the 25th of each month, and you will receive a reply before the 20th of the following month. You can contact the municipality in order to receive help with your application.
If you are granted a housing allowance, you do not need to apply each month. However, you must notify the municipality if
- there are substantial changes to your personal income and wealth
- you move to a new residence (in which case you must reapply)
- anyone moves in or out of the residence
- there is a change in the housing expenses
- someone in the household becomes a student or og to initial military service
You will now get a housing allowance based on your income situation in the month you are applying for. You will get a housing allowance for months with low income, but lose the housing allowance for months with income above the upper limit. If you get rejection a month because of too high income, the Norwegian State Housing Bank will automatically transfer your application to the next month.
The Norwegian State Housing Bank will automatically obtain your income figures from the Tax Administration for that month. Any assets or other income must be entered manually. These figures does not need to be documented since they are checked when the yearly tax return is completed.
If you are dissatisfied with the Norwegian State Housing Bank’s decision, you are entitled to lodge an appeal. The deadline is three weeks from when you received the decision. The appeal must state and justify what you want changed. The municipality offers assistance upon request.
Submit the appeal to the municipality. They will forward the appeal to the Norwegian State Housing Bank for processing. The Norwegian State Housing Bank will review the application and will send its reply directly to you. The municipality will also be notified of the decision.
If your appeal is rejected, you can request that the municipality forward the case to the independent appeals tribunal that is appointed by the ministry. You are encouraged to submit any new information that is relevant to the case.
For more information on appealing, please see the Norwegian State Housing Bank website.