The ageing population requires solutions implemented by both the municipalities and welfare regions — a new study examines the functioning of the municipalities and welfare regions in terms of housing and housing services for the elderly

According to projections, in 2040 there will be 200 municipalities in Finland where more than a third of the municipality’s population is over 65 years old while in 16 municipalities, the share of people over 65 will be more than half of the municipality’s population.

The Ministry of the Environment has supported the anticipation of the housing needs of the elderly and the development of housing, an example of which is the ongoing action programme for housing for the elderly (2020–2022). In the current health and social services reform, the organisation of housing services will be transferred from the municipalities and municipal associations to the welfare regions, but some tasks related to housing and the promotion of welfare and health will remain in the municipalities.

Ageing creates cost pressures for the service system. In political decision-making, information is needed on the development of living conditions and housing services for the ageing population so that citizens can be better provided for in terms of support levels that meet their needs.

MDI is involved in the Finnish Consulting Group’s (FCG) study of municipalities and welfare regions in housing and housing services for the elderly (IKÄHYVIS). The study, funded through the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities, will be carried out between March 2022 and April 2023.

Support for research work from MDI’s municipal survey

The main goal of the research is to pinpoint and subsequently make proposals on what key long-term measures and solutions in the municipalities and welfare regions need to be implemented in relation to housing for the elderly, the age-friendliness of living environments and housing services more generally in the coming years. The research produces a picture of effective operating methods in the municipalities and municipal associations. In the study, action proposals and recommendations are drawn up for the development work related to housing for the elderly and its promotion in the future.

The research uses data from the municipal survey for municipal decision-makers and specialists conducted by MDI in the autumn of 2021 on how the so-called decentralised housing policy for special groups in normal rental housing functions, as well as utilising the views of municipal representatives on what should be done to implement housing solutions for such special groups in the future.

In addition to the research, MDI also carried out an analysis of a survey aimed at the elderly in March, 2022. The survey is part of Hämeenlinna’s Meikä asuu missä haluu -project. With the help of the survey, information was obtained on what the pros and cons of the current living arrangements are for the ageing population. In addition, the elderly talked about their housing wishes in the future.

More in Finnish:

MDI’s municipal survey (available in Finnish)