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.)


Homelessness_in_Finland_1987-2014Homeless people in Finland 1987-2014 (ARA's survey 2014)




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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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