Housing benefit / rent allowance / certificate of entitlement to housing benefit

There are various ways of applying for state benefits to help with the monthly rent. The most important are as follows:


Housing benefit

A claim for housing benefit can be made if you are not entitled to federal training assistance (BAföG) or a vocational training grant (BAB) and are not receiving social security benefits that take housing costs into account. Social security benefits such as these include unemployment benefit II (‘Hartz IV’), income support, basic provision in the event of reduced earning capacity and in retirement, and child benefit and youth allowance.


Housing benefit calculator


Application for housing benefit


Recipients of social security benefits (ALG – unemployment benefit – II) are not eligible for housing benefit.


Hartz IV payments – accommodation costs (ALG – unemployment benefit – II)

The costs of accommodation and heating are met by the job centre, as long as these are reasonable. If the cost of hot water is not already included in the cost of heating, this will also be paid for. Electricity must be paid for by the tenant out of the standard Hartz IV rate. Please contact your local employment agency to find out the level of costs covered.

You will receive the money for the rent from the job centre; i.e. You are responsible yourself for paying the rent on time in accordance with your contract.

If, in individual cases, the job centre pays the rent directly to the landlord, there is a risk that the job centre will discontinue payments, for example, if you fail to keep your appointment at the job centre. This could then result in the landlord giving you notice.

Housing allowance for tenants in public housing

On application, all households renting public housing in Berlin (1st support option) receive a housing allowance to ensure that their rent is manageable, as long as the allowable household income is within the limits specified by the certificate of entitlement to housing benefit, and their rent exclusive of heating (excluding service charges) amounts to more than 30% of the allowable household income.

Application centre:





Who can get a certificate of entitlement to housing benefit?

Find out if you could get a certificate of entitlement to housing benefit.
Please use the official portal of the Senate Department for Urban Development for this: