When you are at risk of becoming homeless
If you know you are about to become homeless, contact the housing services of your home municipality as soon as possible. If necessary contact also social welfare services.
Contact the social services of your home municipality immediately. If necessary, also contact the social services if you have to leave your current home and cannot find a new place to stay. Make an appointment with the social worker dealing with housing. Make sure that you have a valid application with the instances that rent homes in the municipality where you live.
If you have children, your situation will be dealt with urgently. In urgent cases, you can also call the municipal social welfare emergency services.
Social welfare office may help you in organising your housing situation although essentially it is responsibility of housing authorities. Social welfare office has also housing services. The social welfare office will assess your situation and need for help. If it is not possible to continue your stay in your current home, you will receive help and support in looking for a new home. Housing services, such as supported housing, may be arranged for you if necessary.
You are entitled to free housing and debt counselling provided by the legal aid offices. If your housing problems are related to temporary financial problems, you can apply for a social loan if your home municipality offers it. This means that social welfare services may in some cases grant you a loan with a low interest. The loan must be repaid over a certain period of time, usually within five years at the most.
If you do not have a permanent address, notify about it at a service location of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (a local register office) in your home municipality. If you have a relative or a friend to whose address you can redirect your mail, submit a notification of change of address to the post office.
Otherwise, get a so-called poste restante address at a post office. This means that you have to collect your mail always from the same Posti outlet. You have to show your ID card when you collect your mail. You can use a poste restante address free of charge.
If your income does not cover your rent, you can get a general housing allowance from Kela for reasonable rent expenses. If necessary, Kela's employee will assess your ability to pay rent and will help you with applying for the allowance. Your landlord may require that you pay a rent security deposit, for example, a deposit corresponding to one month's rent. If you cannot afford this but you are entitled to basic social assistance, you can apply for assistance from Kela for the deposit.
If you feel that you will not be able to live independently, the social worker can assess whether you are eligible for so-called supported housing. Supported housing is a social service meant for persons who need support for exemple after a prolonged period of homelessness or because of substance abuse or mental health problems.
Yes, you will. The so-called non-profit landlords let flats also for persons who have a bad credit record.
If you do not show any willingness to pay your previous unpaid rent, it may be difficult for you to find a new home.
If you do not know the amount of your debts, you can find it out from collection agencies, enforcement or Asiakastieto Oy. You can ask for debt counselling from the state legal aid offices. Try to reach an agreement and make a plan for paying the unpaid rent with your previous landlord as soon as possible.
If you home is damaged for example due to water or fire, contact the company that provides your home insurance. Your home insurance may compensate for the rent of your temporary accommodation. If you do not have a home insurance, you are not entitled to any compensation. There are different types of home insurance policies and they partly compensate for different matters. In addition to damages caused to your property, your home insurance may cover, for example, the rent of your temporary accommodation.
The real estate insurance of your housing company may cover damages to your apartment. However, it never covers damages caused to movable property.
Homelessness is most common in the large cities Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa in the Helsinki metropolitan area. There are also homeless people for example in Turku and Oulu. On the other hand, empty municipal rental housing is available in rural localities or small towns.
If there are municipalities in which you think you could live, contact them directly. A person who would have to wait for a long time for an apartment to become available in a larger town or a city may be able to get a rental residence very quickly in a small locality.
If you are a citizen of another country than Finland and don`t have residence permit and you are at risk of becoming homeless in Finland, contact first the diplomatic mission of your home country. In urgent cases you can contact social welfare emergency services. In emergencies you may have the right to stay the night in a night shelter or in emergency accommodation for homeless people.