Single people, one-parent families and pensioners account for most rent allowances

01/06/2010 15:00

Over 1.1 million households in the Netherlands received a rent allowance in 2008. This cost the government nearly 2 million euro. The allowances were paid mainly to single households, one-parent families and pensioners. Tenants on benefit accounted for most of the allowances.

One in three tenants receive rent allowance

More than 3 million households in the Netherlands live in rented accommodation; they pay an average 440 euro in rent per month. One third of these households received a rent allowance in 2008. On average this allowance amounted to around 145 euro per month.

Share in total rent allowances by household composition, 2008

Share in total rent allowances by household composition, 2008

Single households and one-parent families account for three-quarters of rent allowances

Nearly 30 percent of total rent allowances were paid to single people older than 65 years. Most of these people were women with no or only a small supplementary pension. Single people younger than 65 years accounted for just over one quarter of rent allowances, while one-parent families, mainly single mothers, accounted for 21 percent.

Two-fifths of rent allowances paid to pensioners

When taking into account the household’s main source of income, 40 percent of rent allowances were paid to pensioners in 2008. Another 30 percent were paid to households who mainly depended on income support, unemployment benefit or a disability benefit. Only a few allowances were paid to households who depended on study grant or study loans as their main source of income.

Share in total rent allowances by main source of income, 2008

Share in total rent allowances by main source of income, 2008

Tenants on benefit most likely to receive rent allowance

Nearly seven out of ten tenants in rented accommodation who depended on a social benefit received a rent allowance. This percentage was much higher than the percentage of pensioners in rented housing, of whom 45 percent received a rent allowance. Pensioners received a rent allowance of  159 euro on average, slightly more than benefit claimants.

Share of households with rent allowance by main source of income, 2008

Share of households with rent allowance by main source of income, 2008

Marion van den Brakel