Y-Säätiö | Y-Foundation, Helsinki (Finland)

This global pioneer in eliminating homelessness since 1985 is promoting the well-being and sustainable lifestyle of our residents. The mission is home for all.

Y- Säätiö rents affordable homes and wants to eliminate homelessness in Finland.

An impressive success story of the Y-Foundation:

18,000 apartments in 57 locations. 26,600 people living in Y-Foundation’s apartments. More than 7420 Y-Kodit apartments designed for special groups and over 10,580 affordable M2-Kodit apartments in Finland.

The chairman of Y-Foundation, Juha Kaakinen, writes:

“Finland is the only country in the European Union where homelessness has been decreasing. The small Nordic country is hailed as a model for homelessness work and Finnish expertise is in high demand.

One of the factors behind Finland’s success is the Y-Foundation, whose human yet effective operating model is internationally unique. Homelessness can be prevented and ended only by acquiring apartments and providing them to those in need. That is what the Y-Foundation has been about since its establishment.

The Y-Foundation was established in 1985, when homelessness in Finland was alarmingly high. Nearly 20,000 people spent their nights sleeping on the street, in stairwells and on the sofas of friends and relatives. Initially, the Foundation only offered homes to those who had experienced homelessness.

In the mid-2010s, the Foundation expanded its activities and established a subsidiary, M2-Kodit. M2-Kodit offers affordable rental apartments to people with low income.

The Y-Foundation follows the Housing First principle, according to which one’s own apartment is a human right and the basis of a good life.

The Foundation is actively cooperating with other Finnish organisations and municipalities to provide everyone in Finland with a home.

The Foundation has established homelessness networks in Finland and abroad, which are also coordinated by the Foundation.”

You can down-load more info in Y-report “Home for All” :


International contact: Juha Kahila , Y-Säätiö (Y-Saatio), Head of International Affairs, Helsinki, Finland, [email protected]


The Nordic Homelessness Alliance

Nordic Homelessness Alliance brings together key actors in homelessness work from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Y-Säätiö’s Head of international affairs, Juha Kahila, sees a bright future for the alliance: 

“We all are working towards eradicating homelessness, and we have a lot to learn from each other.  

The similarities in the Nordic welfare societies makes it easier to implement the best practices. There are examples of this already and I expect to see this more often in the future.” 

The ultimate aim for the alliance is to eradicate homelessness in Nordic countries and create a globally leading model for ending homelessness.

It is valuable to understand which parts of the homelessness work in the Nordic countries are dependent on the Nordic welfare model and which aspects are universal.

In order achieve these goals, it is important to invest in development work, training, research, data collection and a deeper understanding of the differences between the countries. The network can also be used to lobby nationally, at EU level and internationally. 
Contact information: Juha Kahila
[email protected]

More in https://ysaatio.fi/en/nordic-homelessness-alliance-founded/




Homewards (UK)


The Royal Foundation and Prince William have developed a program to reduce homelessness in the United Kingdom. It was inspired on the success story of Finland and by several projects in the UK.

Core elements are:

  • Local cooperations with a plan to prevent and end homelessness.
  • Local leadership.
  • Connected to best experts.
  • Research partners to evaluate success.
  • Funding up to 500,000 pounds.
  • Five-year commitment to end homelessness.
  • Raise awareness and inspiring optimism.



CAUF Society (USA)


This NGO aims to reduce suffering related to homelessness in the U.S.A. Provides information, including best solutions.



EU Housing First Project Sophia

In the Lisbon Declaration the European Union demanded to

“end homelessness by 2030.”

Dublin-based Sophia coordinated an Erasmus+ funded EU-project on housing-first together with Y-Säätiö (research, Finland), Housing First (Berlin) and Arrels (Spain). To be presented in the EU-Parliament in 2025.


Saija Turunen, Research Manager, [email protected]; +35820 7020 320



Armin Wisdorff, EU-Media

[email protected] 

First Homelessness Report of the Federal Government of Germany

(December 8, 2022, in German):


Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative


40 mayors from around the world participate in the yearlong education and professional development program.