The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) is a government agency operating under the Ministry of Environment. Our agency was established in 1949 to solve post-war housing shortage in Finland. Since then, we have subsidized over 1 million new homes in Finland (around 1/3 of all housing production). (https://www.ara.fi/en-US/About_ARA/ARA_implements_Finlands_housing_policy(843))
Nowadays we are concentrating on social rental housing, according to EU SGEI regulations. In 2020 we subsidized around 9 000 new affordable homes (around 26% of all), mainly in Metropolitan area and other main cities.
ARA’s main tasks are:
• government grants, subsidies, and guarantees related to housing and construction of housing (mandate is over 2 billion euros annually)
• guides and monitors the use of ARA housing stock (e.g tenants selection, level of rents)
• is involved in housing development projects, like Homelessness policies, elderly and student housing, ecological construction and suburbs development
• manages expert tasks and information services related to housing and housing markets, and carries out related research
• oversees building energy performance certificates
ARA has been involved with implementation of Housing First policy in Finland since it was started in 2008. We are subsidizing new and renovated rental housing in general and especially for homeless persons. ARA is also supporting housing advice services in municipalities.
Between 2008-2020, during four government action plans, overall Homelessness in Finland has decreased -47% (from 8260 to 4341) and long-term homelessness has decreased even more, over -70%.
ARA has provided Annual Report on Homelessness since 1987: you can find the latest here: https://www.ara.fi/en-US/Materials/Homelessness_reports/Report_2021_Homelessness_in_Finland_2020(60242)