Development of Preventive measures across service sectors to prevent homelessness

Helsinki, Finland Target groups of housing
EU funded project


Headed and coordinated by ARA The Housing finance and development Centre of Finland, the objective of the project is the development of Preventive measures across service sectors and professional boundaries and the dissemination and introduction of these workable and promising solutions to prevent homelessness. Besides that, on international level the project aims to:
• Identifying administrative and professional practices that promote or interfere with the prevention of homelessness.
• Utilise the results of the national strategies and strategy work.
• Disseminate of Housing first and multisectoral practice.


As the urbanization increase, demand for affordable housing increases grows in Helsinki area but also in those ten other city areas. The high costs of living are starting to affect also the middle class, and if there is not enough affordable housing this can have a negative effect on labour market and slow down economic growth.

At the same time, as mentioned above, population is declining in many in rural areas. Overall, population is ageing rapidly and the country’s birth rate is declining. Keeping up with these dynamics requires investment in affordable housing (for rent and other tenures). One challenge for affordable rental housing production is building costs, which are rapidly increasing especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
(State of Housing, 2019, Housing Europe)

Issues tackled

Finland is experiencing the consequences of a dramatic increase in unemployment since the global financial crisis. Furthermore, the rapid migration towards the major cities is leaving a number of regions with a shrinking population. Housing costs especially in the capital Helsinki are increasing, also due to high construction costs.

Actors involved

  • ARA The Housing finance and development Centre of Finland

Actions carried out

  • Early Invention • Housing social work (Professional know-how-Toolbox) • Education and lectures
  • Social inclusion • Expertise through experience • Piloting job descriptions • Educational institutions • Commitment of management
  • Supported Housing • Supported housing at home • Meaningful daily life • Subletting


The country is internationally recognised to be successful in bringing down homelessness with the applied preventative measures.

Why it works

Finland is the champion in tackling homelessness- according to FEANTSA it’s the only country in the EU which managed to decrease the number of homeless people, by applying housing first and preventive policies-, applying social mix and implementing sensible land policy.



More information

ESF support: 2,1 M€ (personnel costs 1,7 M€)
Project timeline: 2016-2019
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