European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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

Temporary increase in housing allowance to cover high electricity costs

Midlertidige endringer i bostøtten utbetaling til mottakere av bostøtte som hjelp til å dekke høye strømutgifter

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 January 2022 – 31 December 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Responses to inflation
– Support for energy bills
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 23 August 2022 (updated 12 September 2022)

Background information

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.

Content of measure

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.

Use of measure

No information.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses People on social benefits
People on low incomes

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Public support service providers
National funds

Social partners

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 involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

No information on social partners' involvement.

Views and reactions

No information on social partners’ view.

Sources

Citation

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

Share

Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023

 

Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. As winter approaches, preventing and addressing energy poverty becomes a priority. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound’s EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.

Article

12 September 2022

 

First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Article

12 September 2022

 

Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

5 July 2022

 

Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Article

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.