During the autumn the Government was planning to introduce a norm for housing allowance when renting part of a property. This norm would have been directed particularly at students, who make up the majority of those living in shared accommodation and studios of less than 20 square metres.
On Tuesday it was announced that the norm for housing allowance when renting part of a property will be withdrawn from the legislative process. According to Minister Annika Saarikko, this decision was particularly based on the overall effect that this norm would have on students.
SYL opposed the proposal and campaigned actively against it. It was felt that the norm’s impact on students’ behaviour on the housing market would be problematic, and that the cuts are being directed particularly at students, whose income has already been reduced significantly through major cuts to the financial aid for students.
SYL is pleased with the Government’s decision to withdraw the norm from their proposal, and wants to thank both the Environment Committee and Minister Saarikko for listening to the concerns of students and expert organisations. SYL also wants to thank other decision makers and interest groups who opposed the norm for emphasising the matter. Students deserve an equal housing allowance system.
“When the students were transferred to the general housing allowance, the Environment Committee worried that the fact that the housing allowance is paid out per household would push students to move to studio apartments. The norm for housing allowance when renting part of a property would have strengthened this signal influence, and it is therefore extremely important that the proposal was withdrawn. It is the most profitable solution, both for those receiving benefits and the public economy, that the benefits systems favour more affordable forms of housing,” states SYL Board Member Jani Sillanpää.
For further information, please contact:
Silja Silvasti, SYL’s Social Policy Adviser
Jani Sillanpää, SYL Board Member