There is a need for special group housing solutions funded by RAY and STEA grants in the future

On the mandate of the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA), MDI carried out a survey of investment grants provided by the Centre for the purpose of purchasing housing for special groups. STEA is an independent state aid authority in connection with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, responsible for the game proceeds of Veikkaus Oy for discretionary grants to social and health organisations. The report is prompted by the fact that STEA’s grant package is changing due to the ongoing reduction in revenues experienced by the gambling company.

According to the findings of the survey, STEA’s investment grants have played a large role in helping to implement housing solutions for special groups such as the homeless, victims of substance abuse and mental health rehabilitators, as well as people with disabilities. Without investment grants, especially low-income and multi-problem individuals are having trouble obtaining affordable housing from a decentralised housing stock. The survey recommends the continuation of investment grants received by organisations at the current level of assistance.

In the future, more efficient design work is needed to promote better housing solutions

In addition to affordable housing, those in special groups need support to find housing. Thus, there is a need to develop new combinations of grants and funding that can safeguard housing solutions that allow longer-term and residential life management support for residents. There is also a need for closer cooperation between organisations and the inclusion of organisations, public sector, private actors and special groups in the development of housing solutions based on new types of residential and neighbourhood thinking.

The survey used an MDI straw poll for local government decision-makers and officials, according to which plans for housing special groups in municipalities and welfare areas are still largely unfinished. For local people, diverse and individual housing solutions are also needed in the future in familiar and secure residential environments. In order to prevent homelessness from increasing and to enable special groups to continue receiving permanent, high-quality housing solutions, more efficient planning work is required to provide diverse and provincially comprehensive housing solutions for such special groups.

According to the results of the local government survey, close cooperation and discussion between municipal officials, the third sector, disability and elderly councils, youth council and municipal decisions/boards will remain important in the future to enable housing solutions for special groups to be adequately addressed.