Board of Trustees’ report 2020
Board of Trustees’ report 2020
Last year marked 35 years since the Y-Foundation was established. We celebrated this milestone by continuing to work on our business, albeit under very unusual circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic characterised the Foundation’s operations in many ways, although its impacts on the Foundation’s finances were minimal.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the Y-Foundation decided that it would not implement any temporary layoffs or redundancies due to the pandemic. For the personnel, COVID-19 meant a switch to working remotely for the most part and having to quickly come to grips with new digital tools. The fact that the Foundation was able to continue all of its operations without disruption was largely due to the commitment and flexibility of our personnel. We hired 31 summer workers in spite of the exceptional circumstances.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation’s operations remained stable under modified procedures and practices. We continued our unfinished renovation projects, such as Koti kuntoon renovations. The restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic also affected maintenance operations: only urgent maintenance and repairs were performed in apartments. When visiting apartments, particular care and caution were adhered to and guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing were complied with as closely as possible.
We took the sudden deterioration of our business premises tenants’ ability to pay rent into account by implementing adjusted payment plans as necessary. COVID-19 also influenced the service use of apartment applicants and tenants. Customer service was mainly provided via electronic channels and by advance reservation. Apartment tours were increasingly made to vacant apartments, which slowed down the rental process at times.
The effects of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic are likely to be more apparent in 2021.
In terms of new construction, it was a record-breaking year for the Foundation. The highlights of the year included the largest individual construction contract in the Foundation’s history, the start of construction on the Foundation’s tallest apartment building to date and a large number of apartments under construction – 790 at the end of the year.
International interest in the Foundation’s operations remained high, although correspondence mainly took place remotely. The Foundation continued its efforts to promote housing with dignity and fairness in society sustainably in cooperation with its domestic and international partner network.
The Foundation’s new long-term strategy was drafted during the year. The strategy extends to 2030 and uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals as its framework. The key objectives of the ambitious strategy are the economic and social well-being of tenants, a fair transition towards carbon neutral living and eradicating homelessness in Finland and reducing it internationally. Approved by the Board of Trustees, the strategy also reflects the handprint of the Foundation’s personnel and, in particular, a challenger group comprised of young employees.
At 35 years of age, the Y-Foundation still has a sharp focus on its mission: So that everyone can have a home.