In Helsinki, Finland, young adult homelessness has been growing. Rising housing prices and an increasing population are contributing factors to these young people who are unable to afford apartments in shiny, new developments. Getting quickly to work on resolving this problem, the city of Helsinki crafted the A Home That Fits program.

A Home That Fits combines work, community-building, and affordable housing. The program locates communities with vacant housing, and recruits low-income young people to live there while working as “good neighbors.” Some communities come with a 250 euro per month allowance, as long as the tenants participate in neighborly work.

One of the housing locations that young people can stay in is an assisted living facility. To supplement the cost of rent, they agree to spend time socializing with the older residents of the facility. Some of the activities that participants mentioned included baking and sharing meals, bonding over coffee, and creating music together.

The new relationships bring joy to both young and old residents. The younger residents now have a home and a community, and the older residents welcome new, friendly faces. In a feature in The Guardian, one older resident shared of her younger neighbor, “It has been very uplifting for the spirits – I’m excited when I get a visit and everyday life is not so boring.”

Cities from all over the world are facing similar situations, and have taken interest in Helsinki’s A Home That Fits solution. There is even some interest from U.S. cities. Do you think that this would be a good fit?

Read more about the program here.

Check out our Elder Care Whiteboard Videos for more information on elder care and estate planning such as how to pay for long-term care costs.  For Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, Veterans Benefits, Real Estate, and Business Planning needs contact Glenn R. Matecun by calling (517) 548-7400 in Livingston County and (586) 751-0779 in Macomb County.

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