Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure NO-2022-1/2770 – measures in Norway
|Country||Norway , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 January 2022 – 31 December 2022|
|Context||War in Ukraine|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Responses to inflation
– Support for energy bills
|Author||Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 August 2022 (updated 12 September 2022)|
The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation regarded the extraordinary situation in the power market in Norway in 2021 and 2022 as extraordinary, partly due to dry weather and low reservoir filling in parts of Norway as well as a result of record high prices for coal and gas and a difficult energy situation in Europe. The situation called for measures to support vulnerable groups.
The housing allowance is intended to ensure suitable housing for people with low incomes and high housing costs and is a means-tested entitlement scheme that covers everyone over the age of 18, except students and those doing military service. The Norwegian National Housing Bank (Husbanken) manages the housing benefit and can implement temporary changes to the regulations and pay out additional support to recipients.
The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation considered it efficient to use the housing allowance scheme to support low-income households effected by high energy prices. In October 2021, 77,300 households received housing benefit in Norway. The average income of these households was NOK 157,600 (€15,760) a year, and average housing expenses corresponded to NOK 106,200 (€10,620) a year. Each household received an average of NOK 2,843 (€284] in housing benefit in October 2021. One in three households that received housing benefit had income from a pension or social security, nine in ten lived in rented accommodation and two in three households consisted of just one person (Prop. 46 S (2021–2022), p. 2).
In December 2021, the government proposed that the housing allowance be temporarily extended so that approximately 50,000 more households would receive housing allowance. The rates were also increased. The extra allowance meant to cover high electricity costs is NOK 1,500 (€150) per month with an additional NOK 150 (€15) per person per month to households consisting of several people. This benefit was given for the months January to May 2022 and will be continued for the months October to December 2022. In the state budget 2022, the allocation for housing benefit was increased to remedy the situation with high electricity prices for people with low incomes.
|Does not apply to workers||Does not apply to businesses||
People on social benefits
People on low incomes
Local / regional government
Public support service providers
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement as case not in social partner domain||No involvement as case not in social partner domain|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No information on social partners' involvement.
No information on social partners’ view.
Eurofound (2022), Temporary increase in housing allowance to cover high electricity costs, measure NO-2022-1/2770 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NO-2022-1_2770.html
30 January 2023
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.