Living in Finland


Asuminen Helsingissä

Housing in Helsinki

Rental home

The rents are high in Helsinki. You should also prepare for the fact that it may take a long time to find an apartment. Rental housing in Helsinki is owned by the City of Helsinki and many private landlords.

You are responsible for finding housing for yourself. The city or other landlords are not obliged to provide housing for you.

You should look for housing in a large enough area. In that way, you will have a better chance of finding housing. Prices for rental housing are slightly cheaper in the neighbouring municipalities (for example, Vantaa, Espoo or Kerava) than in Helsinki.

Private rental housing

There are many landlords in Helsinki to which you can submit a housing application. For example, Sato, Vvo and Avara own rental apartments in Helsinki. Also insurance companies, banks and many private persons offer rental housing. You can find housing quickly through a private landlord.

If you are a student, you can apply for rental housing through HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region. If you are under 30 years old, you can apply for rental housing from the Finnish Youth Housing Association (Nuorisoasuntoliitto) and Nuorisosäätiö.
Search for rental dwellingsFinnish
Search for rental dwellingsFinnish | English

Rental housing for studentsFinnish | Swedish | English

City-owned rental housing

The rents of the city-owned rental housing are more affordable than those of private housing. However, there are a lot of applicants for city-owned rental housing and only a small number of applicants receive housing.

You must have a residence permit valid for at least a year to be able to apply for rental housing owned by the City of Helsinki.

You can apply for rental housing owned by the City of Helsinki online through the service, if you have a Finnish personal identity code. You can also submit a housing application at a service point. A clerk will be present at the location to assist you in filling in the application. Service is available in Finnish and English.

Contact information for the service point:
Stadin asunnot
Address: Itämerenkatu 3
Tel. (09) 310 13030

A housing application is valid for three months. After that you must reapply.

Further information: Rental home and Tenancy agreement.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Stadin asunnotFinnish | Swedish | English

Buying a home

In Helsinki, flats are usually expensive but prices vary significantly depending on the area. You can find adverts for available housing on search websites.

Information on buying your own home is available on InfoFinland page Buying a home.

Right-of-occupancy housing

You can apply for a right-of-occupancy housing (asumisoikeusasunto), if you do not have an owner-occupied housing or the funds to purchase one.

You can apply for a right-of-occupancy housing in Helsinki, Espoo or Vantaa; first, obtain a queue number. You can apply for the number online. You can also print the application form and fill it in by hand.

Once you have obtained the queue number, available housing can be requested from owners and developers. Contact information is available on the website of the City of Helsinki. You can apply for housing in multiple areas at the same time.

Further information: Right-of-occupancy home.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Right-of-occupancy housingFinnish | Swedish | English
Queue number applicationFinnish

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Contact information for developersFinnish

Housing in a crisis situation

If your home has been damaged as a result of fire or water damage, for example, home insurance can, in some cases, cover part of the additional living expenses. Contact your insurance company as soon as the damage occurs.

If a member of your family uses violence against you or threatens to do so, you can contact a shelter (turvakoti).

Shelter Mona is a shelter for immigrant women and their children.

Turvakoti Mona (24h)
Tel. 045 639 6274

You can also go to the shelter in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Pääkaupungin Turvakoti).

Address: Steniuksentie 20
Tel. (09) 4777 180 (24h)

Young people between the age of 12 and 19 can contact the Youth Emergency Shelter of the Finnish Red Cross (Nuorten turvatalo).

Address: Uudenmaankatu 32 A, 00120 Helsinki
Open every day 5 pm - 10 am.
Tel. (09) 622 4322. You can call the shelter at any time.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Information for the homelessFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Social work and social guidance service pointFinnish

linkkiPääkaupungin Turvakoti ry:
Help for victims of domestic violenceFinnish

linkkiFinnish Red Cross:
Youth Emergency Shelter of HelsinkiFinnish | Swedish


If you become homeless, contact the social services office of your municipality of residence. A social worker can help you find housing.

The service centre for the homeless on Hietaniemenkatu is open every day around the clock. You can spend the night there, if necessary. The service centre offers a place to spend the night for residents of Helsinki with a substance abuse problem, if they have no other place to go.

Hietaniemen palvelukeskus
Hietaniemenkatu 5 B
Tel. (09) 310 466 28

No Fixed Abode NGO (Vailla vakinaista asuntoa) is an association that helps homeless people.

No Fixed Abode NGO maintains a night café called Kalkkers that offers a warm place for the homeless to spend the night from the autumn to the spring. Kalkkers is open from 10 pm to 6 am. People without a residence permit can also come to Kalkkers.

Address: Vaasankatu 5
Tel. 050 443 1068.

E-mail: kalkkers(at)

Further information: Homelessness.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Information for the homelessFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Social work and social guidance service pointFinnish

linkkiVailla vakinaista asuntoa ry.:
Association for the homelessFinnish

Service guide for the homeless in HelsinkiFinnish | English | Russian | Somali | Persian | Arabic | Bulgarian

Supported and service housing

Some people, such as the elderly and the disabled, have difficulty in dealing with everyday tasks without assistance. The city organises services for them to help them live independently.

The elderly and the disabled who are incapable of independent living can reside in sheltered housing or institutional care.

You can receive more information on the services from a local social services unit.

Read more: Supported and service housing.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Social and contact work unitsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Sheltered housingFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Housing services for the disabledFinnish | Swedish | English

Waste management and recycling

You can find information on sorting waste on the InfoFinland page Waste management and recycling.
Information about waste managementFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiHelsinki Region Environmental Services Authority:
Sorting instructionsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiHelsinki Region Environmental Services Authority :
Waste collection pointsFinnish | Swedish | English

Waste collection pointsFinnish