Housing benefit

Housing benefit

Students who are not entitled to Bafög can apply for a housing allowance. Housing allowance is a state subsidy for rent that does not have to be paid back. The prerequisite is that one can cover the costs of living oneself and that only a part for the rent is missing. When applying for a housing allowance, it is therefore necessary to prove that you have regular income of at least slightly more than the requirement for basic security according to SGB II (currently this is 446 euros plus costs for health and nursing care insurance plus a portion of the monthly rent). Conversely, of course, you must not have too much income or assets of your own.

Attention: The housing allowance is a social benefit. Foreign students, who are not allowed to receive social benefits due to their residence title (§16 Residence Act), should get good advice before applying and consult with the foreigners authority!


In Germany, housing benefits are not usually granted to students as they have the possibility to get BAföG. Thereby, it is irrelevant whether a student has applied for BAföG or not or whether BAföG is being paid or not.

However, the housing allowance is only excluded if all family members of a household are entitled to BAföG. If only one family member is not studying, there may be an entitlement to housing benefit.

Student parents with a common child are not entitled to housing benefits themselves, as they are entitled to BAföG as student partens. However, the entire family household is still entitled to housing benefit, since the child is not studying and therefore cannot apply for BAföG.

You can still apply if...

In the following cases students can apply for housing allowance despite the above-mentioned reasons for exclusion:

  • If a study programme does not qualify for BAföG

  • If foreign students do not qualify for BAföG

  • If students are too old for BAföG

  • If students cancel or change course of study without reason

  • If conditions for funding further education are not available.

  • If length of study exceeds the permitted period of BAföG.

  • If the training was not carried out within the geographical restrictions of BAföG (outside of German boarders)

Students that receive BAföG but find that it is not enough to cover rent, can apply for rent subsidy.

Legitimate students that live in Freiburg can apply for Housing Benefits at the ‘Amt für Liegenschaften und Wohnungswesen’ (Housing and Residence Office).