The Finnish Homelessness Strategy: An International Review

Nicholas Pleace, Dennis Culhane, Riitta Granfelt, Marcus Knutagard

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report describes the results of an international review of the Finnish National Homelessness Strategy. The review involved academic specialists in the field of homelessness from Finland, Sweden, the UK and the USA. The review explores the effectiveness of the Finnish attempt to deliver an integrated policy response to homelessness at national level. The review explores the ways in which preventative services, housing focused social work, supported housing and specialist support for groups such as homeless young people have been brought together within a strategic plan. Specific consideration is given to the role of Housing First, covering the debates around the widespread use of a ‘communal’ model, centred on relatively large, self-contained apartment blocks, in which only Housing First service users live. The achievements of Finland in developing a coordinated, comprehensive and holistic response to homelessness are discussed. The report argues that, while some aspects of homelessness have yet to be addressed, the Finnish example shows what a truly integrated national homelessness strategy can potentially achieve. A coordinated policy response has delivered both substantial and sustained reductions in long-term homelessness and significant progress in homelessness prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherMinistry of the Environment, Finland
Commissioning bodyYmpäristöministeriötä (Ministry of the Environment, Finland)
Number of pages105
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-11-4381-6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2015


  • homelessness

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