Rīgas jumti

In view of the rapid increase in utility costs, Riga City Council would like to inform again that every registered resident of the capital is entitled to a housing allowance to cover rent, building management, and other utility costs, if after these costs are paid, there is less than EUR 327 remaining for the first or only person in the family, or EUR 228 for each subsequent person in the family.

The benefit is based on the family’s expenses, savings and assets, while the amount of the benefit to be paid also takes into account the standard values for different utility bills: the household assistance does not always cover the full cost of rent and utilities, and the household may have to pay a part of the bill on its own.

What families qualify for the household assistance?

  • The family members are registered in Riga and live at the registered address;
  • The family’s total savings do not exceed €272;
  • The family owns no more than one car (no more than two motorised vehicles if there are children in the family);
  • It owns no more than five hectares of land and a small number of utility buildings;
  • After the bills are paid, there is less than €327 remaining for the first or only person in the family, and €228 for each subsequent person;
  • If the family does not breach any other restrictions set by law*;

*All that a family is allowed to own to be eligible for the household assistance is specified in Section 36 (1) (2) of the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance.

What expenses are taken into account when calculating household assistance?

As indicated in the Regulation**, the following expenses (not exceeding the regulatory limits) are taken into account:

  • rent;
  • building management;
  • heating;
  • cold and hot water;
  • electricity;
  • natural gas;
  • sewerage and sewage removal;
  • household waste;
  • telecoms services and internet;
  • installation and verification of water meters.

**The standard values are set in the Riga City Council Binding Regulation ‘Recognising a Household as Poor or Low-Income, and social assistance benefits in Riga City Municipality’. For example, hot water consumption per person is limited to three cubic metres per month, and more than this will not be counted as an eligible expense.

What is the amount of household assistance?

Household assistance is calculated using the national Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI).

After household costs are paid, the household must have the national GMI remaining, currently €327 for the first or only person in the family, and €228 for each additional person in the family.

Household assistance = €327 for the first person + €228 for each additional person + actual household costs (which meet the standard values) - total household income.


Example 1

For a single pensioner with a pension of €400, the utility bill is €200, of which €160 meet the standard values requirements.

The household assistance is 327 + 160 - 400 = 87 euros.


Example 2

A family consists of two adults and two children, with a total family income of €1,300 and utilities of €500, of which €450 meet the standard values requirements.

The household assistance is 327 + 3*228 + 450 - 1300 = 161 euros


Example 3 (when no assistance is paid)

A single working person who has a salary of €800, and pays €300 in utilities, which does not exceed the standard values.

Calculation: 327 + 300 - 800 = -173 euros. Result: after housing costs are paid, the income remaining is above the threshold, so no assistance is due.

For those households who were granted household assistance before 1 October and have an effective declaration of subsistence means, the new GMI threshold will be applied automatically in the calculation of household assistance, without the submission of a new application.

How to apply for household assistance?

In order to grant the assistance, the Riga Social Service must assess the household’s financial situation. You can do this by applying online or in person.


  • You can submit the documents signed with a secure electronic signature to soc@riga.lv.
  • You can fill in a statement via the e-service ‘Application for submitting a declaration of subsistence means to the Riga Social Service’ (‘Pieteikšanās iztikas līdzekļu deklarācijas iesniegšanai Rīgas Sociālajā dienestā’) on latvija.lv. Address: https://latvija.lv/lv/Epakalpojumi/EP219/Apraksts

In person:

  • Appoint a visit to the territorial centre of the Riga Social Service district department territorial office by calling 67105048 to discuss the possibility of receiving social assistance. You must bring all the necessary documents proving the expenses related to the use of the residence, and provide the proof of use of the residence (e.g., a rental agreement) if the social services do not have such documents;
  • A declaration of subsistence means, in which persons who share the same living expenses and who live in the same residence declare their income and financial situation and provide documents demonstrating the expenses related to the use of the residence.

Between 1 October 2022 and 31 May 2023, applications submitted for the assessment of the financial situation, social assistance benefits and the granting of the status of a poor or low-income household will be examined within 40 working days of receipt of the application and the necessary documents, with a decision to refuse or grant the household assistance.

Household assistance is awarded to a household starting from the month, in which the application is received.

Household assistance granted for the period from 1 October 2022 to 31 May 2023 will be recalculated after the end of the 2022/2023 heating season, but no later than 30 June 2023.

Note! Various factors are taken into account when deciding whether to grant household assistance, based regulatory requirements, i.e., if there is any obstacle that may prevent a person from qualifying for household assistance, for example, the person’s assets and savings are assessed. Household assistance does not always cover the full cost of rent and utilities, and the household may have to pay a part of the rent.

If you have any questions, please call the free information line 80005055.

The City Council would like to also remind you that you are entitled to other social benefits and services. For more information about the benefits, please visit the Welfare Department website at https://ld.riga.lv/lv/sociala-palidziba/socialo-pabalstu-veidi-rigas-pasvaldiba-2022-gada.html and the NEWS section.

Author: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council Communication Department, e-mail: martins.vilemsons@riga.lv