Usually when something sounds too good to be true, it is. In this case however it really is true, you can get money for free every month if you rent a home. You could get anything from few hundred kr to a thousand kr. The highest I’ve ever seen is around 980 kr. The how of it, I’ll cover later but first the why.
In Denmark we have a myriad of social services and benefits, one of these are aimed at helping people pay their rent. In Danish it’s called “boligstøtte” and sometimes “boligsikring” and is a monthly tax free benefit from the “Kommune”. This benefit is intended for people who rent a home, people who own their own home are not eligible for boligstøtte.
Boligstøtte was created as a means to help lower income people pay their rent so that the cost of housing doesn’t take up a disproportionate amount of their budget.
Who receives boligstøtte in Denmark?
Most people who are eligible usually apply for it, it’s part of our social model and are funded by taxes. Normally families have too much collective income but it does happen. Most commonly it’s single parents and students who are eligible for this benefit.
Who can apply?
There are only three requirements in order to be eligible to apply for boligstøtte.
- You must have a permanent address in the country. (requires residency permit and CPR)
- You must live in a residence approved for habitation all year round.
- You must rent the home you live in
How much can I get?
This is difficult to answer as it is a function of your income, your expenses for rent and whether you have children. The rule of thumb is that the lower your income and the higher your rent is the higher the amount you can receive.
There are sites where you can calculate how much you are entitled to collect. The link below is the offical site however.
Criticism and effects on the rental market.
The social service in particular has been criticized for its perceived effect on the rental market. It is argued that this service artificially inflates the rent levels in certain areas because landlord will calculate with people getting aid with higher rent levels. Without the benefit, renters wouldn’t be able to pay the rent some landlords are asking.
There is some evidence to support these claims but the extend of the problem is not known.
Effects on getting citizenship
If you intend to apply for Danish Citizenship you may be aware that receiving any form of social service from the government disqualifies you from ever getting Danish citizenship.
This is not the case with boligstøtte because it is not a primary income source like “dagpenge” or “bistand”. You can receive boligstøtte and not jeopardize your chances of getting citizenship.
The only caveat to this is if you somehow receive too much boligstøtte, that would disqualify you.
A practical example of this could be, you get a raise in wages which would normally mean you are eligible for less boligstøtte. If you were forgot to inform the kommune about your new wage then you would likely receive more benefits than you are entitled to, thus preventing your from gaining Danish citizenship.
Yes, but where and how do i apply?
Most people apply online via www.borger.dk
Alternately, if the borger.dk is still unfamiliar to you, you could contact the kommune in which you are a resident and talk with them about it.
Read about it here in English https://lifeindenmark.borger.dk/Living-in-Denmark/Your-residence