Housing for special groups
Challenges in housing
Finland's population is ageing rapidly. This increases the need for good quality and accessible housing, as well as for the provision of services for old people living at home.
Additionally, other special groups, such as people with disabilities and the homeless have specific needs in housing which can be fulfilled through independent housing and related care, supported housing or service housing. The State supports the housing of these groups with loans, interest subsidy schemes and special investment grants for the construction, acquisition or renovation costs of housing units.
Design for all
In new housing construction, "design for all" and "accessible design" are the main demands where the elderly and disabled are concerned. Furthermore, the purpose of life-cycle housing is to ensure better integration of people with different housing needs in the same buildings and surroundings.
The current government programme includes the goal of providing the necessary support to allow the elderly and disabled to continue to live at home. The main support actions are providing home care and other services and improving dwellings.
The existing housing stock, however, is often problematic in terms of obstacles, and particularly the lack of lifts in many blocks of flats. State renovation grants are awarded for the installation of lifts in older multi-storey residential buildings and, on social grounds, for repairs and renovations of the homes of older people and people with disabilities.
Housing for the elderly
The government supports the further development of new housing solutions that fall between the ordinary home and institutional care.
Senior housing (buildings especially designed for old people), senior owner-occupancy housing and collective housing are some options. Service housing (rental housing with support services) for the elderly is built with interest subsidy schemes and investment grants from Housing Fund of Finland.
The number of homeless people in Finland has declined considerably in recent years. The government's Programme for Reducing Homelessness (2001-2005) included measures to tackle the question of homelessness, and the next phase (2005-2007) includes actions for improving regional co-operation for housing the homeless in the Helsinki region.