The recent Covid-19 pandemic has seen people fall on hard times, whether it be a loss from a struggling business or loss from a job no longer available. The consequence of such losses can trigger other issues such as food insecurity, unemployment, and an inability to pay rent.
In Japan, the government provides Jukyo Kakuho Kyufukin or Rent Relief Grants and Housing Security Benefits, which is a scheme available to all legal citizens and residents who are struggling to pay their monthly rent, is in danger of losing their homes, or have lost their homes. Both Japanese and non-Japanese residents are eligible to apply for this scheme so long as they meet the minimum requirements.
One of the biggest reasons why individuals apply for this grant is job loss. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic saw over 120,000 households in Japan apply for and receive housing support in 2021 alone. The government continues to receive such applications in the wake of numerous job cuts, job insecurities, and business closures.
For those who have recently been made redundant or suffered the loss of business due to Covid and are considering downsizing or moving, Village House offers budget-friendly properties in over 1,000 locations across Japan’s 47 prefectures with campaigns and discounts for 1 month of free rent and up to ¥30,000 for moving support.
To be eligible for government rental assistance, the applicant must meet specific requirements, which may differ depending on the ward or prefecture the applicant lives in. However, in general, the Japanese government stipulates that for an individual to receive rental and housing support, the following requirements must be met:
- The applicant has lost their job or business within the last two years and/or their annual income has dramatically decreased
- The applicant’s working hours of the number of working days has decreased due to a struggling business or economy
- The applicant is in danger of losing or has lost their home due to financial issues, unemployment, loss of business, etc.
- The applicant is also the main breadwinner of the household at the time of applying.
- The applicant’s total household financial assets do not exceed 1 million yen at the time of application.
- The applicant and those living in the same household are not receiving any other benefits or loans provided by the local government.
In Tokyo’s 23 wards, the following households cannot exceed:
- ¥504,000 for single individual households
- ¥780,000 for two-people households
- ¥1,000,000 for three-people households
Those wishing to apply for government rental service need to contact the Independence Consultation Support Organization specific to the municipality they live in. This organization is independent of the local municipal city or ward government offices. However, the Independence Consultation Support Organization will first go over the application before sending it to the applicant’s local ward office or city hall, where a decision will be made. Once decided, the results will be sent back to the Independence Consultation Support Organization which will, in turn, notify the applicant.
For non-Japanese applicants not proficient in Japanese, it may be beneficial to bring along a Japanese-speaking friend or colleague; or hire a translator for smoother transactions.
Applications take around two weeks to process and assuming all documentation is in order, once approved, the grant or benefit will be paid directly to the applicant’s landlord or real estate company.
In general, the Japanese government will subsidize up to 75% of the applicant’s rent though the actual amount will depend on the individual’s rent, the ward or prefecture they live in, the size of their household, the number of dependents, current financial status, etc.
If living in one of Tokyo’s 23 wards, it is estimated that:
- Individual households can receive around ¥53,700
- Two-people households can receive around ¥64,000
- Three-people households can receive around ¥69,800
Approved applicants can expect to receive government rental assistance for three months up to nine months so long as the minimum requirements are met and the applicant can show proof of actively looking for employment.
In conclusion, if you find yourself struggling to pay rent due to the loss of a job, Covid-19-related issues, business closures, etc. the Japanese government can provide you with some financial aid so long as you meet the necessary requirements. For those looking for a place to stay with minimal initial costs, Village House offers rental contracts sans key money, deposits, brokerage fees, and renewal fees.