Housing aid law comes into force

The number of households that can benefit from housing aid has substantially increased following the introduction of a new law on January 1.

The criteria to receive housing aid has been revised to include:

Reducing the income ratio required to be eligible for rental subsidy to 25%
Social transfers will no longer be considered when calculating the household income
The condition of six months of regular income is abolished and replaced with three months of income
Modifications in the low-income threshold, which defines the eligibility for support – for instance, to a maximum of €2,500 for a single person

The government said the changes would affect all types of households, including single persons, single-parent families and households with children.

It is expected to increase the number of eligible households to 35,020.

Individual aid through a ‘rent subsidy’ was first introduced in January 2016.

Since then, each beneficiary household has benefited from an average subsidy of €126 per month.

A number of new laws, including leave for family reasons and cost of living allowance, came into force on January 1.