Housing

Moniheli ry's Katto-program's activities aim to prevent homelessness. Migrants are at higher risk of experiencing homelessness and overcrowding is common, especially among families with children. People face prejudice and discrimination in the rental housing market. We provide support in finding housing in many languages, share information on housing and organize training for professionals and do advocacy work.

Katto-toiminnan logo.

Katto program helps with housing search and housing problems in Finnish, English and Arabic. You can reach us by phone, email and through various social media channels.

You can invite us to discuss housing in an integration training group, Finnish language course or peer group. The housing information takes about 1-1,5h.

You can also invite us to hold a pop-up advice point. We regularly visit educational institutions and low-threshold premises of organisations to help you fill in housing applications.

Bisher Sawan

Bisher Sawan
Casework Coordinator

+358 (0)50 309 3925 
bisher.sawan@moniheli.fi

Suomi, English, عربي (Arabic)

Päivi Al-Tameemi

Päivi Al-Tameemi
Manager

+358 (0)50 309 3961 
paivi.al-tameemi@moniheli.fi

Finnish, English

We actively share tips and information about applying for a home on the Katto program's social media channels. Click on the icons below to follow us!

Material bank

Finding an apartment

Useful links

InfoFinland's webpage on housing (Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, Estonian, French, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Arabic, Persian)

The Consumers' Union of Finland's guide to renting in eight languages (Finnish, Swedish, English, Arabic, French, Somali, Russian)

Finnish landlord association's rent and a good way to (Finnish, Swedish, English, Arabic and Russian)

Where can I look for housing:

Municipal rental housing 

In large cities, there are many applicants for municipal rental housing. 

Housing is rented to those most in need of housing. 

If you are in a hurry to get a new home, tell about your situation in your housing application and explain why you are in a hurry. 

Remember to update the application! 

Municipal rental housing is intended for the residents of the municipality.

For more information on municipal rental housing, visit the municipalities' own websites. 

Housing for 17-29 year olds 

Many cities also have a foundation that provides student housing. In Helsinki, student housing is rented by HOAS.

Other ARA rental apartments 

On average, rents for ARA rental housing are slightly lower than for private rental housing. There are income limits for ARA apartments.  

You can ask for ARA housing in the following places: 

 

Supported housing  

If you need supported housing for a substance abuse or mental health problem, contact the homelessness services in your municipality. 

Aspa foundation's rental housing for people with disabilities and people with mental health problems. 

Private landlords, i.e. individuals or rental housing companies

You can call or email the landlord directly. Tell the landlord about yourself and your housing needs.  

For a private landlord, it is important to find a reliable tenant who will take good care of the apartment. 

Information on available private rental apartments can be found on the following platforms: 

You can also search for rental properties on social media. On Facebook, for example, there are groups in different cities where people are looking to rent and find tenants.  

Companies who rent apartments:

Help with finding a home:

Places to get free advice and guidance on housing.

Helsinki

  • Monik ry's helpdesk  
    Puhoksen ostoskeskus, 
    Kastelholmantie 2 A, 00930 Helsinki
     
    ma-pe klo 10-16 
    In addition to Finnish, advice is available in Somali, Dari, Pashto, Arabic and French.

Vantaa 

  • Vantaa Järjestörinki 
    Vantaa Järjestörinki association has many advice points for immigrants. The services of the counselling centres are intended for all immigrants, regardless of their municipality of residence.The service is offered in very many different languages. 

Advice for young people (18-29-year-olds) 

Advice on financial matters (e.g. rent debt) 

  • Municipal financial and debt advice 
    Find contact details for your local municipality's advisory service website. 
  • Takuusäätiö 
    Telephone helpline Monday to Friday 10am -2pm: tel. 0800 9 8009 (free of charge)

Tips for finding an apartment:

  1. In Finland, you don't need an agent to find an apartment! You can contact landlords directly.

  2. Contact multiple landlords and fill in multiple rental applications for many different landlords.

  3. Contact a landlord as soon as you see an apartment you are interested in. In large cities, rental properties are rented out quickly.

  4. Search for an apartment in multiple neighbourhoods in different cities.

  5. Fill in the additional information field! In your rental application, tell us about yourself and your situation.

  6. Who are you? Are you working or studying? Do you have a family? Do you have a pet?

  7. Did you smoke? Why are you looking for an apartment? Do you plan to live there for a long time?

  8. Ask a previous landlord for a reference and mention it in your rental application.

  9. Find a suitable apartment for yourself. Not too small, too big or too expensive!

  10. If you receive housing benefit from Kela, check the limits set by Kela on the amount of rent you can pay.

  11. Check whether you need to update your application every 3-4 months.

ADVOCACY, COMMUNICATION AND TRAINING

Katto program has been collecting data on homelessness and housing of migrants since 2016. We act as experts in different networks and organise trainings for professionals. We can tailor training to the needs of our partners, so contact us with a low threshold.

The Manager of Katto Program is responsible for the advocacy work. The recruitment of a new manager is currently underway.

 

Tietoa maahanmuuttaneiden asunnottomuudesta

Statistics on homelessness among immigrants

The Housing Financing and Development Agency (ARA) publishes annual statistics on homelessness.  In the 2020 statistics , published in spring 2021, the number of immigrants who are homeless was lower than in the previous year. However, the proportion of immigrants among homeless people was relatively high. 22% of homeless people living alone and 60% of families were of immigrant origin. 

These figures are not exact, as not all municipalities distinguish the background of homeless people in their statistics.  According to the ARA guidelines: "'' Immigrant background includes all people who are homeless and living alone and who are not Finnish citizens or whose mother tongue is not Finnish or Swedish. Immigrants can be identified from the Population Register by their mother tongue and place of birth.”

Foreign-language speakers account for around 8% of Finland's population, so immigrants are clearly over-represented in homelessness statistics. ARA compiles homelessness statistics on the basis of data reported by municipalities. These figures do not include undocumented people.

Below is the data on the development of homelessness among immigrants 2001-2020 for single persons and families, collected by Katto program from ARA statistics. For comparison, the graph also includes data for all single persons and families experiencing homelessness.

 
Click on image to enlarge

Katto program's publications

Moving from the reception centre to the municipality and housing problems

Housing challenges of moving from a reception centre to a municipality from the perspective of organisations.

Authors: Vilkama, Veera, Moniheli ry; Myllylä, Anna-Leena, Sininauhasäätiö sr

Keywords: reception centre, place of residence, housing, housing, homelessness, integration

Moving from the reception centre to the municipality and housing problems (PDF)

 

Factors affecting tenant choice and the position of applicants with foreign background in the private rental market

Report on the results of the survey of landlords 1.11.2021

Authors: Vilkama, Veera, Moniheli ry; Myllylä, Anna-Leena, Sininauhasäätiö sr; ja Puurunen, Heini, VVA ry

Keywords: housing, housing for rent, private landlords, discrimination, equality, Roofing, Finland, homelessness prevention

Factors affecting tenant choice and the position of applicants with foreign background in the private rental market (PDF)

 

How will migrant homelessness be eradicated by 2027 in the metropolitan area?

Report to the Katto's community effort 3.6.2021

Authors: Vilkama, Veera

Keywords: homelessness of immigrants, Katto-program, Finland, homelessness prevention

How to eradicate homelessness among immigrants (PDF 4 MB)

 

Working to address the structural factors of immigrant homelessness in Finland: lessons learned from the Katto-project, 2019 

Authors: Turk, Jana B. & Ghazi, Duin

Keywords: homelessness among immigrants, Finland, homelessness prevention, Katto-program, homelessness prevention

 

Homelessness among immigrants in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Study by Moniheli in cooperation with the PAAVO 2 programme of the Ministry of the Environment, 2014