General housing allowance: Recipient households
|Updated: 18.12.2015 - Next update: 16.12.2016|
General housing allowance: Recipient householdsA total of 246,357 households were in receipt of the general housing allowance as of December 2015, 20% more than in the previous year. Reasons for the increase include the persistently weak economic situation and a number of changes in legislation introduced in 2015 which among other things raised the income limit to qualify for housing allowance.
As of December 2015, one-person households accounted for 57% of all households in receipt of general housing allowance. However, the largest increase in relative terms was seen among couples without children and two-parent families with children.
Comparable data on the number of households receiving general housing allowance exists from the year 2000 onwards. Prior to 2000, the recipient population included a large proportion of students, who now are covered by the student housing supplement scheme. The number of households in receipt of general housing allowance reached a record high in December 2015, even exceeding the levels seen during the economic depression of the 1990s.
Description of indicator
The number of households receiving general housing allowance at the end of December analysed by type of household.
The indicator represents the trend in the number of low-income households whose housing costs are subsidised by the government. It also shows the percentage of certain groups, including families with children, as a share of the total recipient population.
The general housing allowance is mainly provided to economically active households, not to pensioners or, as a general rule, students.
The number of recipient households typically rises during economic downturns. A number of legislative amendments have also had an impact on the number of housing allowance recipients. For example, students who were married, cohabiting or living in a communal household were in the year 2000 removed from the scope of the general housing allowance scheme and moved to the student housing supplement scheme.