Finnish actors fighting homelessness

Homelessness as a complex social problem is fought in different sectors of the Finnish welfare state. State authorities act as supervising bodies, while the municipalities are implementing homelessness policies on local levels and the third and the private sectors offer housing and implement support services.





Ministry of the Environment is responsible for planning and monitoring the work against homelessness/housing exclusion in matters concerning overall housing conditions, strategies, special programs, housing advice and other preventive measures.


Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for social and health services delivered both to the whole population and to vulnerable groups. This concerns also social and health services related to housing (e.g. home care, subsistence income, housing allowances).


Ministry of Justice (Criminal Sanctions Agency) is responsible for the release plans of prisoners, which also includes organizing accommodation.


The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) is a governmental agency of the Republic of Finland operating under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment. ARA is an agency to implement social housing policy. ARA's main task is to finance state-subsidised rental housing production.


The Social Insurance Institute of Finland (Kansaneläkelaitos, KELA) operates under the supervision of Parliament. Kela’s mission is to secure the income and promote the health of the entire nation, and to support the capacity of individual citizens to care for themselves. KELA also offers housing benefits.


National Institute for Health and Welfare's (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, THL) Welfare research group conducts research on issues related to citizens' welfare. The main focus of research is on welfare deficits and social problems, including poverty, deprivation, inclusion, social exclusion.



Municipalities alone or municipalities in regional co-operation are the implementing authorities of the above mentioned tasks on the local level. They have the implementing responsibility while regional State authorities act as supervising bodies.



The private sector owns about 50 % of Finland's rented property stock, maintains accommodation for the homeless (until 2013) and implements support services.



The third sector owns rented properties, maintains service and supported housing and shelters (until 2013) and implements support services.



Find also links to the organizations in Finland which are taking part in fighting the problem of homelessness here.




24.04.2015 The Own Keys Project by the Finnish NGO Vailla vakinaista asuntoa (NO Fixed Abode NGO) in the FEANTSA Homeless in Europe Magazine spring issue

The FEANTSA Homeless in Europe Magazine discusses Participation: Inclusion, Empowerment and Routes Out of Homelessness. In "Nothing About Us Without Us! The Own Keys Project – People Who Have Experienced Homelessness Develop Services" by Carole Brady, Raija Maunula and Vlada Petrovskaja describe the main themes found out in their project: the importance of trust in cooperation as well as successes and challenges in the work.

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11.02.2015 FACTS, FINDINGS AND THE FUTURE - Seminar on the international review of the Finnish National Program to Reduce Long-term Homelessness

Results from the international research evaluation on the Program to Reduce Long-term Homelessness (2008 -2015), pathways to homelessness in Helsinki and future homeless policies were discussed in a seminar on February 10th, 2015. The seminar was be conducted in English.

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30.09.2014 The evaluation on the Finnish HF Program in 2014

Evaluation on the whole PAAVO program (2008-2015) will be carried out in 2014 as an international research review. The evaluation team consists of distinguished researchers on homelessness issues. The target of the process is to provide information and outlooks on measures in tackling homelessness after the present program period.

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13.08.2014 Seminar 17.9.2014: Perspectives on Housing First in Finland

Preliminary results of the international research evaluation on The Finnish Programme to Reduce Long-term Homelessness

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23.09.2013 Programme to eliminate long-term homelessness in Finland during the period 2012–2015

Information and the ARA´s report "Homelessness in Finland 2014"

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