Expenditure on housing benefits

Expenditure on housing consists only of benefits in kind (services) and the financing thereof by public authorities.
Housing benefits is an important welfare policy instrument and exist in all Nordic countries, except the Faroe Islands. Because housing benefits is entirely financed by public authorities, there is no transfers and building of funds based on the financing.

Social expenditure on housing benefits

The available data on expenditure indicate that the expenditure is quite constantly below 1 per cent of GDP. Only exception is in Iceland, where the expenditure on housing benefits was 1,3 per cent of GDP in 2011. The Icelandic expenditures have been decreasing since 2011, to become among the lowest in 2020.

Changes in expenditure since 2010

In the period from 2010 the level has increased in Finland, whereas it has been at a constant level in the rest of the countries, with Norway at the lowest level.

The level of expenditure on housing benefits do not show any significant changes in 2020 compared to the years before.

Source of financing

The data on expenditure consists also of sources of financing. The financing of housing benefits comes only from public authorities.

Housing benefit is often considered an important instrument in welfare policy. The financing and expenditure as well demonstrate that the levels by which housing benefits is provided pr capita is different between the Nordic countries.

The data show that housing benefits has increased in Iceland over a five-year period from 2006 until 2011, whereafter it has declined every year since 2011. Other countries have a more constant level of housing benefits, as is the case in Sweden and Norway. In Denmark and especially Finland the level has increased since 2010 to become the currently highest levels in all Nordic countries.