The goal of ending homelessness requires effort and cooperation

  • 16.6.2023
  • News

Orpo’s government programme sets the goal of eradicating long-term homelessness by 2027. To achieve this goal, a homelessness programme will be launched, focusing on cooperation between municipalities, welfare regions and the state, and on homelessness prevention.

Homelessness programmes have played a key role in making Finland one of the world’s leading countries in the eradication of homelessness. The cornerstone of the programmes has been to help people experiencing homelessness through the Housing First model. The model is based on permanent housing and individually tailored support.

“It is important that there is a commitment to ending homelessness. Home ownership is a human right that can be guaranteed for all if determined cooperation is continued and developed. Ensuring that people have their own, permanent housing also makes it easier for us to support their employment, agency and well-being. The homelessness programme is an excellent tool for this.

Finland is a model for the world and we can show that it is possible to eradicate homelessness,” said Teija Ojankoski, CEO of the Y-Säätiö, commenting on the news of the government programme published on Friday.

The government programme includes a number of reforms that are of concern to those working with the most vulnerable. The measures envisaged in the government programme are particularly targeted at the everyday life and housing of people on low incomes. Housing benefit levels will be reduced through changes such as the basic income tax liability, the earned income tax credit and changes to the categories of municipalities. A 5% deductible will be introduced for housing costs in basic income support and recipients of income support will be directed to find more affordable housing. The ARA regulated rental housing will be targeted at low-income earners by making housing fixed-term so that people do not remain in housing when their income rises, but the MAL agreements guiding the growth of urban areas do not include targets for the construction of ARA rental housing. The level of subsidies for the Housing Advice Act, which aims to prevent homelessness, will be halved.

“Decision-makers and experts from around the world are visiting Finland to see how we have reached a situation where it is realistic to talk about ending homelessness in the near future. In addition to targeted homelessness work and the Housing First model, the discussions repeatedly highlight the structural factors in society that keep the risk of homelessness low.

Under no circumstances should this development be jeopardised as the reforms progress. During the coming term of government, it is also important to take care of the factors that ensure housing stability. This will support people’s well-being and their ability to build their own lives and everyday lives,” Ojankoski continues.