In recent years, Finland has been the only European country to reduce homelessness. The 2014 international peer review of the Long-term Homelessness Reduction Programme highlighted the effectiveness of Finnish homelessness policy and the innovative Housing First approach.
Comprehensive homelessness work based on a nationwide programme remains exceptional in Europe. Dormitories are still the most common solution to the problem. Housing first work has been mainly individual pilot projects without comprehensive networking and information sharing. The Housing First Europe Hub, led by Y-Säätiö and FEANTSA, aims to address this need by strengthening cooperation between European actors.
Finland is an active member of FEANTSA, the European umbrella organisation for homelessness actorsIts various networks and forums act as European platforms for research and advocacy on homelessness. Each year, FEANTSA raises key issues, for example at conferences. In 2016, FEANTSA published the Housing First Guide Europe.
The European Union has developed strategic tools to support homelessness work in its Member States. The Finnish Homelessness Prevention Programme (AUNE) was based on a project partly funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) for urban strategy work. The use of European financial instruments is designed to support the functioning of countries’ own social policy structures and, in particular, to assist in the launching of poverty prevention policies.
We are a member of the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), the only major European network that focuses its work exclusively on homelessness.
We are joined in Finland by the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry, Asukasliitto and Nuorisoasuntoliitto.