Individual rent assistance in the Netherlands

Heerlen, The Netherlands Better Finance, Subsidizing rents


The well-established Dutch scheme of individual rent assistance is based on a quality point system for rent-setting and is provided directly to tenants. Unlike the United States system, the Dutch tax department assesses household incomes and makes direct payments to eligible households – being households with low to moderate income or reliant on social assistance. Unlike the United States, the scheme is not capped, but it is limited in other ways.

Importantly, rent assistance is conditional on households occupying moderately priced dwellings and it only pays part of the rental costs.  As mentioned above, dwellings are assessed by an annually indexed government point system based on quality and space, and assistance is only provided to dwellings under a cost limit. Nevertheless, most modest rental dwellings fall below this and 33 per cent of households in the social sector can receive allowances.

Actors involved

  • Tax and Customs Administration of the Netherlands