Housing First is an established concept in Finland since more than 15 years thanks to the Y-Foundation as a pioneer. The Y-Foundation was also one of the founding members of the Housing First Europe Hub.

In 2016 the Finish Y-Foundation together with FEANTSA established the Housing First Europe Hub. The Y-Foundation has been a key player in establishing Housing First as the main response to homelessness in Finland. Since 2007 national policies shifted towards reducing long-term homelessness through Housing First programmes.

As a result, in Finland, the utilisation of emergency and temporary accommodations, such as shelters, hostels, and temporary supported housing, has significantly declined. The number of homeless individuals residing in hostels or boarding houses decreased by 76% from 2008 to 2017. This reduction is attributed to the widespread adoption of prevention strategies, the replacement of outdated models of communal supported housing with Housing First and housing-led approaches, which largely replaced emergency shelters.

ARA, the Housing Finance and Development Centre, has also been involved in the implementation of Housing First in Finland since the start through subsidising new and renovated homes as well as giving housing advice to municipalities.

As a result, Finland is one of the only European countries that registers decreasing homelessness numbers. The country’s goal is to end homelessness in Finland all together



  • Kuva-Juha-Juha-Kahila-2.jpg

    Juha Kahila


    Country: Finland
    Languages: EnglishFinnish

    Juha has been working for 10 years in the field of homelessness. He started as a frontline support worker in 2010 for the Finnish Youth housing association services (NALPA)….

  • Profiili - Asunto Ensin Verkostokehittäjät

    Mia Saarela


    Country: Finland
    Languages: EnglishFinnish

    Mia is Coordinator for the National Housing First Development Network in Finland. She is passionate about eradicating homelessness and developing new ways of approaching housing-related issues. Mia has a…

  • Cole_Pilvi_MG_6312_edit_kork1600-Pilvl-Cole-2.jpg

    Pilvi Azeem


    Country: Finland
    Languages: EnglishFinnish

    Pilvi’s first experience working with people experiencing homelessness was in Scotland year 2005 where she worked as an assertive outreach worker for over two years, learning first-hand about people…

  • Taina Hytönen photo

    Taina Hytönen

    Programme Coordinator, Housing First Europe Hub

    Country: Finland

    Taina works as the Manager of International Work in Y-Foundation in Finland. After social studies at the University of Helsinki she worked at the city of Helsinki to develop…