When you are at risk of becoming homeless
If you know you are about to become homeless, contact the social welfare services of your home municipality as soon as possible.
Contact the social welfare services of your home municipality if you have to leave your current home and are not able to find a new home. Make an appointment with the social worker dealing with housing.
If you have children, your situation will be dealt with urgently. In urgent cases, you can call the municipal social welfare emergency services. Everyone with a home municipality in Finland is entitled to municipal housing services.
A social worker will explore the available temporary and long-term housing alternatives with you. 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.
You are entitled to the housing and debt counselling provided by the local authority. If your housing problems are related to temporary financial problems, you may be eligible for a social loan. This means that the local authority may 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 the local register office in your home municipality about it. If you have a relative or a friend to whose address you can redirect your post, submit a notification of change of address to the post office.
Otherwise, get a so-called poste restante address at a post outlet. This means that you collect your post from a letter box opened for you. 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, the social worker 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, you can get 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 meant for persons who need support 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 Asiakastieto Oy. If you have old unpaid rent, request 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.
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 be placed at the end of the queue in a large city may be able to get a municipal rental home very quickly in a small locality.
If you are a citizen of another country than Finland and are at risk of becoming homeless in Finland, contact the diplomatic mission of your home country. In emergencies, you have the right to stay the night in a night shelter or in emergency accommodation for homeless people.