Allowance for Your Rent
Being an international student sometimes makes everything a little bit trickier. Luckily, we are here to make your life easier. One of those tricky things is finding a place to live. And finding affordable housing, at that. There is such a thing as Dutch housing allowance for students, as well as health insurance allowance. Read on to find out more about housing allowance and how you can apply for it.
What is housing allowance?
Housing allowance is payment on a monthly basis to support, in this case, students with high monthly rent. This allowance is payed by the Dutch government.
You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for housing allowance.
What are the basic requirements?
- Be above 18 years old
- Rent a house/apartment in the Netherlands
- Be registered in a Dutch municipality (gemeente) and have a BSN number (identity number). You get this when you register at a city hall.
- Have a Dutch residence permit or EU/EEA nationality
- Your employment income must be below the threshold
- You must live in an independent property. This means your property has to have its own front door, a kitchen, and bathroom and bedroom (i.e. an apartment or house*)
*There are 3 exceptions to this rule. You rent part of a house that shares a front door, stairs, or lift with other people, you live in a trailer, or you live on a houseboat.
- If you have roommates/flat mates, they must also be registered at a Dutch municipality.
- If you have a toeslagpartner (translated: supplementary partner) must be registered at a Dutch municipality.**
- You must be the only person/persons registered at your address.
**A toeslagpartner is the person that you apply for housing allowance with. If you have one, it might affect the amount of allowance you are eligible to receive. If you are not sure you have one, there is an online questionnaire you can take. Unfortunately, it is in Dutch, so get a Dutch friend or call up Google Translate.
How much housing allowance can I receive?
If you meet the criteria, the amount of housing allowance you can receive depends on your personal situation. You can use this calculator (in Dutch) to determine the amount you can get. You will need to enter your personal details and your portion of your rent.
Mostly, it is based on your yearly (Dutch) income. You can fund your annual income in your Dutch tax returns or your tax assessment. You do NOT have to include any income from student finance!
Furthermore, your housing allowance also depends on the amount of monthly rent you pay. There are two types of rents: (1) your kalehuur, which is your monthly rent minus all monthly utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc.) and (2) your rekenhuur, which is your monthly rent including all monthly utilities.
Finally, your housing allowance also depends on your age, and whether or not you live alone.
You can complete Huurtoeslag’s online calculator to approximate if you are eligible for housing allowance and how much you would be able to receive. Huurtoeslag.nl can also help you with your allowance application, and make sure you get as much allowance as possible.
How do I apply?
There are a few steps to this process:
- You need a DigiID. You get this, along with your BSN number, when you register at a Dutch city hall. If you do not have a DigiID, you can request one here. You will also have had to activate your account.
- Go to the website toeslagen.nl and click on ‘Inloggen op Mijn toeslagen’ (Log in to my allowances) using your DigiID.
- Next, once you have logged on, select ‘Huurtoeslag Aanvragen’.
- You can now begin filling in the online forms.
Again, unfortunately all of the online forms are in Dutch (it’s a pain, we know). So, either have someone handy to help you or translate it yourself.
You can also phone to ask for a paper copy, which you would then receive in the post and post back to them. However, this takes much longer, so it is recommended to apply for housing allowance online.
You should then be contacted regarding your application.