Applying ‘Huurtoeslag’ or rent subsidy in the Netherlands
Finding student accommodation can be pretty challenging for international students. Even after you stumble upon the perfect one, you still need to consider whether the budget is suitable for you or not, whether the facilities are desirable, and other concerns.
During this pandemic, I find more people are attracted to the independent living space (with personal kitchen and toilet). This kind of facility surely will cost more than the average housing rent. Others who fall out of competition in finding housing also have no choice but to rent a higher cost room. Have you ever wonder how can we, as students, afford this?
Fear not, my friend! There is a rent subsidy called ‘Huurtoeslag’ provided by the Dutch government to save your housing cost, or you can even save some for your own saving. Now, you might be wondering whether you are eligible or not? If yes, how to apply this?
What is Huurtoeslag?
First, Huurtoeslag or rent subsidy is a government contribution to the rental cost for people with insufficient income. You can apply for this housing benefit as long as you meet the following conditions:
- You are 18 years or older.
- Your rent may not exceed € 752.33.
- You live in an independent living space – have your own entrance door that can be locked, personal kitchen and toilet. Self-contained house and houseboat are not eligible.
- Your income must not be too high, with a maximum of € 31,340. Find the calculation through this link if you have partners or children.
If you are applying using room.nl, you can look for a designated unit in the ‘independent’ category and find the badge ‘rent allowance >18 y’. Example of this: bornsesteeg 1, haarweg and bronland (campus plaza). If you are a PhD student, you are considered as a worker; thus, you need to ensure that your income calculation fit the requirement if you were to apply.
How to apply for Huurtoeslag
- Try to use the trial calculation before registering, filling the form based on your housing contracts (remember, rent fee and service fee are different things!). You will know how much you could get for the rent subsidy. The final number you gain might be slightly different.
- After that, you just need to go to ‘my allowances’ on this website to start with your housing application. It’s in dutch, so better install the google translate extension to help you fill the form. Please make sure that you put correct information regarding the cost!
- Use your DigiD to login. DigiD is an application for you to access the government service, including the rent subsidy. To have this, you need to have a BSN number and residence permit beforehand. You will get the notification in 8 weeks.
Once you’ve applied, the housing benefits are usually transferred to your bank account on the 1st of the month. Even if you have already lived there for a while, you can still apply for this subsidy.
Suppose you are not sure about how to apply it by yourself. In that case, there is a rent subsidy service by the housing desk Wageningen where they will assist you until you get the final decision from Belastingdienst (Tax office). It will cost a bit. Still, it will save a lot of headache for sure. Alternatively, you could also ask your Dutch friend or other international students who already applied for this subsidy for guidance.
All in all, the process is indeed quite long, but I hope this could help you find the right room and not worry about the cost anymore. Good luck, and stay safe!
This article is written by Linda Widiachristy, Master Student of Urban Environmental Management at Wageningen University & Research. The original article can be found here