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Ministry of the Environment requests comments on changes to resident selection in affordable ARA housing

Ministry of the Environment
Publication date 4.3.2024 13.42
Press release
Kaksi nuorta portaikossa kantamassa Peikonlehteä. Nuoret muuttavat uuteen asuntoon.

The aim of the legislative amendments circulated for comments is to clarify the resident selection procedure for affordable state-subsidised dwellings. According to the draft government proposal, the amendments will make it easier especially for people who have fled from Ukraine to find a dwelling. Comments can be submitted until 12 April.

The Ministry of the Environment started the legislative drafting process concerning resident selection for state-subsidised dwellings offered by the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA in spring 2023. The aim was to make it easier for those fleeing from Ukraine due to Russia’s war of aggression to find a dwelling in Finland. According to the draft proposal, those who have fled from Ukraine could be selected as residents even if their residence permit were valid for less than a year. Based on the present legislation, the residence permit requirement has not allowed to select those granted temporary protection as residents of ARA dwellings immediately after their entry to Finland. Access to ARA dwellings has required that the purpose of use of the dwelling has first been changed.

According to the draft proposal, the requirement of a one-year residence permit could be waived when the applicant needs housing for a longer time. This change would make it easier to find a dwelling in individual situations and give more power of discretion to those making the selections. Except for those granted temporary protection and certain other cases, a residence permit that is valid for at least one year would as a rule be required in future as well. 

A number of other changes to the provisions concerning residence selection are proposed to update and clarify the legislation. Residence selection to state-subsidised housing is a public administrative task, which means that provisions on who makes the selection must be laid down in the legislation concerning ARA dwellings. In addition, in connection with the preparation of the income limits for residence selection under the Government Programme certain needs for other legislative changes came out, such as those related to the competence of the wellbeing services counties. The draft proposal also suggests that the priority treatment of municipal residents in the selection should be abolished as this conflicts with the latest legislative amendments concerning social security. 

Comments can be submitted at the online consultation service until 12 April 2024.


Satu Eronen
Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs
tel. +358 295 250 180
[email protected]