Homelessness can be eradicated by close cooperation by 2027: Report

Homelessness can be eradicated by close cooperation by 2027: Report

“Today there is a broad consensus in Finland about the need to eradicate homelessness, but some time ago this was considered a utopian goal. Now we just need to take concrete steps to achieve it. We need a national program to eradicate homelessness by 2027. It is important that all political parties commit to this program and ensure it sufficient resources”, Minister of the Environment and Climate Maria Ohisalo says.

Finland has succeeded in reversing the trend of homelessness

Finland is the only country in Europe where homelessness is decreasing. In addition to Finland, positive developments have taken place in Norway and recently also in Denmark and Scotland.

According to statistics from the Housing Finance and Development Center (ARA), between 2008 and 2022, the number of homeless people living alone decreased by 54% and the number of long-term homeless people by 68%.

In November, 3,686 homeless people live alone and 1,133 long-term homeless people. From 2021, the number of homeless people living alone decreased by 262 and the number of those experiencing long-term homelessness by 185. It is quite worrying that since 2021, homelessness has increased among young people under 25 years of age.

A goal set in the prime minister’s program Sanna MarinThe government plans to halve the number of homeless people by 2023 and eliminate homelessness by 2027. In the reference year 2018, there were 4,882 homeless people living alone and 159 homeless families. According to the report, eradicating homelessness by 2027 is still a realistic goal, although the goal of halving the number of homeless people has not yet been achieved.

“Long-term work has produced good results and a large group of professionals committed to the goal and cooperation builds faith. A strong culture of cooperation and political will have enabled the realistic goal of reducing homelessness and eradicating it,” says presenter Juha Kaakinen. In practice, eradicating homelessness in Finland means that no one lives outside and no one is discharged from any institution without suitable housing.

The need for multi-professional low-threshold support

The report suggests that the work according to the Housing First principle should be continued: getting an apartment does not require a change in lifestyle or health. According to the report, the methodology should be developed in such a way that it strengthens the understanding of the customers’ situation, respectful encounters and a rehabilitative approach to work. In particular, the focus must be on reaching out and helping the most disadvantaged or marginalized people.

The group of experts consulted during the process considered the strong participation of the state to be very important. Ending homelessness should be a common cause. It requires new kinds of partnerships and cooperation, where welfare service municipalities and municipalities play a key role. The services must be available locally, although the responsibility for organizing them rests on the wider shoulders of the welfare service municipalities.

Particular attention should be paid to decentralized, mobile and specialized services that help people experiencing long-term homelessness. We also need to ensure that no new cases of homelessness arise, even though more and more people are at risk of losing their homes for financial reasons. That’s why multiprofessional housing counseling and eviction prevention are important.

The report proposes a national program that would strengthen coordination and funding. The key questions to be developed in the survey are permanent housing solutions and a round-the-clock housing service that aims to minimize temporary solutions. More research and better utilization of empty apartments is also needed.


Source: Ministry of the Environment

Source: The Nordic Page

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