Statistics about Finnish homelessness
According to the housing market survey conducted by ARA at the end of 2014, there were 7107 homeless people who were living alone and 427 homeless families. 5414 of homeless people were living temporarily with friends or family and 362 were living on the street or emergency shelter. Number of homeless people living alone diminished by 394 from previous year. More details from the ARA’s survey.
Finland has been a pioneer in measuring and reducing homelessness for many years. The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) has the responsibility to produce a yearly report on homelessness and its profile based on a statistical market survey. The survey is done by the municipalities. Statistics have been collected since 1987. Despite the variation in municipal enumeration methods, the Finnish example is one of the earliest showing that the annual production of national data on homelessness is possible and helps in the evaluation of the effects of targeted policies (Busch-Geertsema 2010).
At the end of the 1980's the statistics showed that there were almost 20 000 homeless in Finland. By 2008, their numbers had fallen to about 8000 people. The number of homeless halved between 1987 and 1996 partly because of the general development in the housing markets and partly because of various measures that were taken to reduce homelessness. After the mid-1990's the reduction in homelessness was slow, and at the turn of the millennium and again in 2008 the number of homeless even increased. In spite of the measures taken, homelessness has not disappeared. By 2008, the homeless who were easier to house had been housed. That still left out the long-term homeless who had difficult social and health problems and housing needs with significant amount of services, support and/or monitoring. Out of all the homeless in Finland roughly 40 % are considered to be long-term homeless. (Fredriksson & Tainio 2009, Luomanen 2010.)
Homeless people in Finland 1987-2014 (ARA's survey 2014)