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Housing Benefits

Occupants of rental accommodation may be entitled to housing benefits, irrespective of whether they are renting social housing or on the private market.

If you have legal domicile in Iceland, you can apply for housing benefits. Housing benefit entitlement is income linked.

Housing benefits and special housing financial support

Municipalities’ social services provide special housing support for residents who are not able to secure homes for themselves due to low income, high cost of supporting dependents or other social circumstances. If you need support, please contact the social services in your municipality for more details and instructions on how to apply.

Housing benefits (húsnæðistuðningur) is provided monthly to assist those who rent residential premises. This applies to social housing, student residences and the private market.

The Housing and Construction Authority (Húsnæðis- og mannvirkjastofnun) www.hms.is handles the implementation of the Housing Benefit Act, No. 75/2016, and makes decisions about who is entitled to housing benefits.

There are certain requirements that need to be met:

  1. Applicants and household members must be resident in the residential premises and must be legally domiciled there.
  2. Applicants for housing benefit must have reached the age of 18. Other members of the household do not have to be aged 18 or over.
  3. The residential premises must include at least one bedroom, a private cooking facility, a private toilet, and a bathroom facility.
  4. Applicants must be party to a registered lease valid for at least three months.
  5. Applicants and other household members aged 18 and over must allow gathering of information.

If you are entitled to apply, you can fill in your application either online or on paper. It is strongly recommended to apply online, you can do that through “My Pages” on the official website www.hms.is. Further details about the whole application process can be found here.

If you would like to know the amount you are entitled to, you can use the official housing benefit calculator available on this website. 

Special housing financial support / Sérstakur húsnæðisstuðningur is available for people in a difficult financial situation. For more details please contact social services in your municipality.

In disputes between tenants and landlords, it´s possible to appeal to the Housing Complaints Committee. Here you find more information about the committee and what can be appealed to it.

Lögmannavaktin (by the Icelandic Bar Association) is free legal service to the general public. The service is offered all Tuesday afternoons from September to June. It´s necessary to book an interview before hand by calling 568-5620. More information here (only in Icelandic).

Law Students at the University of Iceland offer free legal counselling for the general public. You can call 551-1012 on Thursday evenings between 19:30 and 22:00. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Law students at Reykjavík University provide individuals with legal counselling, free of charge. They deal with various areas of the law, including tax issues, labour market rights, the rights of residents in apartment buildings and legal issues concerning marriage and inheritance.

The legal service is situated in the main entrance of RU (the Sun). They can also be reached by phone on 777-8409 or by email at logfrodur@ru.is. The service is open on Wednesdays from 17:00 to 20:00 from September 1st until the beginning of May, except during final exams in December.

The Icelandic Human Rights Centre has also offered assistance to immigrants when comes to legal matters.

Who is entitled to housing benefits?

Occupants of rental accommodation may be entitled to housing benefits, whether they are renting social housing or on the private market. Your income will determine whether you are entitled to housing benefits.

If you are legally domiciled in Iceland, you can apply for housing benefits online on the website of The Housing and Construction Authority. You must use Icekey (Íslykill) or electronic ID to log in.

Calculator for housing benefits

Before applying for housing benefits

The rent amount, income and family size of the applicant will determine whether or not housing benefit is granted and, if so, how much.

Before you can apply for housing benefit, you must register a lease agreement with the District Commissioner. The lease agreement must be valid for a minimum duration of six months.

Housing benefits are not paid to residents of hostels, commercial housing or individual rooms in a shared home. Exempt from these conditions are:

  • Students renting student accommodation or boarding accommodation.
  • Disabled people renting accommodation in a shared living facility.

To be entitled to housing benefit, the applicant must be legally domiciled at the address. Students studying in a different municipality are exempt from this condition.

Applicants may apply for special housing support from the municipality in which they are legally domiciled.

Special housing aid

Special housing aid is financial assistance to families and individuals in the rental market who need special support for payment of rent in addition to the standard housing benefits.





If you have legal domicile in Iceland, you can apply for housing benefits.