Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Home Business Kela pays housing allowance directly to landlords hundreds of millions of euros...
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Kela pays housing allowance directly to landlords hundreds of millions of euros a year – Sato and Kojam are among the largest recipients – Taloussanomat

Second and third place in the list are private large landlords Sato and Kojami. The amount of euros to be credited directly to the harvest is declining, while Kojamo is increasing.

Kela has published the top ten housing subsidies paid directly to landlords. The group includes rental apartments for city groups and two private rental giants.

As in previous years, the for-profit limited companies Sato and Kojam, which maintain Lumo and VVO apartments, reach the top three of housing subsidies paid directly to landlords.

Sato was the second most landlord to receive direct housing benefits in 2018–2020. In total, it received EUR 28,148,384 of housing subsidies directly accountable to the landlord in 2020. However, the amount of housing subsidies for the harvest has been slightly declining, as in 2018 the company received less than three million less.

Kamo, which is largely owned by large occupational pension companies and trade unions, received the third highest number of housing subsidies directly payable to the landlord in 2018–2020. Kojamo’s share has been growing, as from 2018 to 2020 the number of housing subsidies has increased by more than 2,273,000. In 2020, Kojam received EUR 25,261,068 directly from Kela.

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According to the 2017 survey, less than a third of housing allowance is paid directly to the landlord, while two thirds are paid directly to the resident. The number of housing subsidies received by Sato and Kojamo is therefore probably clearly higher, as the statistics only show the share to be credited to the landlord.

The Helsinki City Group ranks first in the landlord list. In addition to Sato and Kojamo, the top 10 are filled with rental apartments in the cities.

When research manager Signe Jauhiaisen according to the same landlords are at the top end year after year due to their size.

– Large landlords end up on the list because of their size and the low income of their residents. Municipal rental housing companies and a few large companies rent a large number of apartments. These apartments are inhabited by low-income canteens that receive housing allowance and some of the allowance is paid directly to the landlord, Jauhiainen answers by e-mail.

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General housing allowance can be paid to the landlord either on the basis of the applicant’s authorization or the beneficiary’s failure to pay the rent.

So Sato and Kojam communicate by e-mail that they do not monitor how many of their residents receive housing allowance or how many housing allowances are paid directly to the landlord.

– We do not have the opportunity to follow this information, says Sato’s CEO Antti Aarnio in their email reply.

He does not answer the question of the economic significance of the housing benefits paid by Kela to Sato and whether the subsidies have a commercial significance. Aarnio cannot say why Sato is repeatedly high in Kela’s housing support statistics, but emphasizes that this is only a subsidy paid directly to the landlord.

– Kela’s statistics show directly the amount of housing benefits paid to the landlord’s account, so it does not directly tell the number of tenants receiving housing benefits by landlord.

Director of Marketing and Communications Irene Kantor Kojamolta also says that the company does not monitor how much of its tenants receive housing allowance.

– We have almost 36,000 rental apartments. The life situations of about 55,000 of our customers can change, some are students, which means that it is understandable that Finland’s largest private player can appear on the euro-denominated list due to the scope of its activities, Kantor writes in an e-mail.

He emphasizes that housing benefits are not relevant to Kojamo’s business solutions.

Housing benefit system has been criticized. Among other things, the CEO of Vuokraturva Timo Metsola has estimated that the housing benefit scheme will increase the average level of rents, with the benefit going directly to the landlord.

  • Read more: Timo Metsola, who is familiar with the rental business, downloads direct words about housing support: “The number of beneficiaries should be reduced”

Criticism of the subsidy, its size, or its criteria has been heard over the years from many parties, although the study does not unequivocally show that housing subsidies would raise rent levels.

In Sato and Kojam, housing benefits are also seen as a necessary form of support.

According to Saton Aarnio, the Housing Support System generally works well.

– Housing allowance is an allowance granted to a tenant, it is not an allowance to the landlord, although Kela may pay it directly to the landlord’s account as authorized by the recipient of the allowance. We see the need for housing support above all from the perspective of our customers, Aarnio writes.

According to Kojamon Kantor, housing allowance is also an integral part of Finnish social security.

Kamino has been featured alongside housing benefits because many of its large owners are trade unions, and the company increased the dividend payable to its owners during the interest year.

As trade unions are non-profit associations alongside, among others, employers’ unions and several foundations, they receive their dividend income tax-free.

The largest shareholder is the Confederation of Finnish Industries, which owns just over 24.8 million shares, or 10.04 percent of all shares. It received EUR 9.18 million in tax-free dividend income for 2020.

The housing investment company Kojama has been a goldmine for its large owners’ unions for the past decade, Ylen MOT said in early March.

The trade unions have received income from the listed company of approximately EUR 915 million tax-free, according to the MOT’s report.

Housing benefit

The number of recipients of housing allowance has increased for a long time, but stopped in 2019. The joy remained short-lived, as the number of recipients of housing allowance increased again as a result of the corona.

In 2020, a total of EUR 1,566,478,510 in housing benefits was paid. The amount of just over EUR 1.5 billion is considerable, as in 2010 housing benefits were paid in the amount of about EUR 530 million.

The increase in housing benefits is due to changes in legislation. In 2015, the general housing allowance was completely reformed. The level of support improved somewhat and the number of beneficiaries expanded. In 2017, students switched from student housing allowance to general housing allowance.

In addition, the increase in the volume was due to the weak Employment situation in the 2010s.

In March 2021, almost 386,000 canteens received housing benefits and the average amount of support was EUR 330.22 per month.

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