- Urgent housing for the first days
- Reception centers for refugees
- Homestay Network: long-term and free housing
- Rental housing
Urgent housing for the first days
If there is nowhere to stay overnight
The social services of the city where you are located are responsible for arranging emergency accommodation for you. If you are in Helsinki, call 09 310 37577 (before 16:00) or 020696006 (after 16.00).
Reception centers for refugees
After applying for Temporary Protection or Asylum, the police/border guards must refer you to a reception center (vastaanottokeskus). A reception center registers refugees and provides housing, social, medical, and financial assistance.
All arriving refugees must register at the reception center, even if they do not need help from the state. Then, at your request and need, they will provide you with the following services:
- You can live at the reception centers if you wish. Reception centers are located throughout Finland and come in different types and sizes. For example, you might have your own or shared kitchen, or the reception center might have a canteen. The specific location where you will be allocated depends on many factors: your age, gender, size of your family, and personal circumstances. Persons under 18 who have arrived in Finland without a guardian are accommodated in a dormitory. Staying in reception centers is voluntary. You can always move if you find another option. If you have applied for Temporary protection, you can live in reception centers during and after processing your application. If you have applied for Asylum, you can live in reception centers until you receive refugee status. Don't worry; as soon as you get refugee status, you will have access to housing assistance from Kela.
- You can receive monthly financial aid while your Asylum application is being considered. To get it, you need to apply separately at the reception center. Financial aid depends on various circumstances, such as your income and savings. The reception center will tell you all details. Read more here. If you plan to apply for Temporary Protection, you can request financial assistance when filling out an application for Temporary Protection.
- You will receive the necessary social services: conversations with a social worker, conflict resolution, legal advice, and advice in everyday situations (e.g., opening a bank account).
- Each reception center has a health worker who organizes medical care if needed.
- You can ask for an interpreter to help you handle critical official matters.
If you have applied for Temporary Protection or Asylum, your stay in Finland is assessed as temporary. In this case, social security is provided only by reception centers.
However, if your residence in Finland is permanent, you are entitled to social security from Kela (a government agency that provides basic economic security for everyone living in Finland). Kela believes that a person resides in Finland if:
- a family member already lives in Finland (husband, civilian husband (wife), or a minor child);
- he/she already lived in Finland before;
- he/she will work or study in Finland for at least two years.
In addition, Kela grants the rights for social benefits to those who work in Finland and receive at least 741,75 euros per month.
In other words, people with temporary protection who have found a job or those who have already received Asylum can count on Kela. More details here.
You can read about the Kela services on their website.
Homestay Network: long-term and free housing
That's an option for those who want to live with Finnish volunteers ready to accept refugees. The Homestay Network has been coordinating home accommodation for asylum seekers since 2015 and has a license to do so. A home residence is always free and voluntary for both parties. However, it is still recommended to sign a written agreement on living conditions (housework, cost-sharing, house rules, etc.).
Join the Facebook group, post that you are looking for housing, and the organization will help you with further search. Important! Do not provide your personal information, such as an address or telephone number.
Accommodation is coordinated in local Facebook groups. You can also join groups of regions or cities where you want to live.
More information about home accommodation can be found in this guide:
Host4Ukraine offers Ukrainian refugees a safe place to live. The service offers a wide variety of housing, from apartments to country houses. Go to the website, select the desired location, view the options, and contact the owner.
When you find suitable housing and agree with the landlord, you will need to sign a lease agreement (vuokrasopimus), get insurance (kotivakuutus) for the period of residence, and sign contracts for electricity (sähkösopimus, current market rates), internet (netti kotiin) and possibly water (vesimaksu) and gas (kaasusopimus). Compare home insurance costs here.
- You can search on google "[city name] + "kaupungin asunnot” to find subsidized housing in other cities.