3. Housing Allowance
In general, students are not entitled to a housing allowance if they qualify for BAföG, regardless of whether or not they actually receive BAföG. This is based on statute 20 WoGG of German law, because BAföG is meant to include costs of living. If a student’s education entitles them to BAföG, they are therefore deemed not eligible for Housing Allowance.
However, you can still receive Housing Allowance up to 446 euros monthly under certain conditions. For example, when:
- You are older than the maximum eligible age to receive BAföG
- Your training facility does not entitle you to BAföG
- You receive a grant
- You take a semester off
- You exceed the standard period of study
- You study part-time
- You receive BAföG exclusively as a bank loan
- You are obtaining a second Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (This link is in German- use your browser translator and let us know if you come across a good English source)
Non-German students may also be eligible to receive the Housing Allowance under the following circumstances:
- EU citizens: No requirements, but you need to prove that you’re actually living in Germany by providing your ID and a proof of accommodation
- Non-EU citizens with:
- Valid permit of residence or toleration under the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz)
- Right of residence under an international agreement
- Right of residence according to the Asylum Procedure Act (Asylverfahrensgesetz)
- Legal status of a stateless foreigner
- Legal exemption from the requirement of a residence permit
You can find all information on eligibility here:
Since 1 January 2020, more people have been receiving more housing benefits. In addition, from 2022 onwards, the housing allowance will be more dynamic and from then on will be regularly adjusted to the rent and income trends that have occurred. In view of sharply increasing rent, the Federal Cabinet has passed a bill to this effect. The law includes a general increase in benefits, which includes the adjustment of Housing Allowance to the development of rent and income since the last housing allowance reform in 2016. For a two-person household, for example, the allowance has risen from € 145 per month at that time to € 190. In addition, a further “Rent Level VII” has been added to the existing six rent levels. Accordingly, those affected in conurbations with extremely high rents, such as Hamburg, Munich, etc., can be better subsidised.
Important: When applying for housing allowance, proof of a minimum income is necessary.