Migrants’ pathways into homelessness in Finland’s Capital Region

Migrants’ pathways into homelessness in Finland’s Capital Region

Migrant’s homelessness in Capital Region has been an issue since 2014. According to ARA (The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland) a significant percentage of homeless individuals and homeless families in the Capital Region are migrants.

This study investigated migrants’ pathways into homelessness in Finland’s Capital Region. Interviews with a mixed sample of 29 participants with migrant background who have experienced homelessness identified several types of critical incidents that can lead migrants to become homeless.

For participants living alone (N= 19) and families (N=4) these critical incidents were abandonment immediately after obtaining the residence permit, rent increases, changes in the number of family members, renovations, independence, neighbors’ complaints, and moving to the Capital Region. When critical incidents are paired with factors such as a low income, shortage of affordable housing, lack of knowledge of Finnish language and the housing system as well as the social service system, migrants are likely to become homeless.

Furthermore, according to interviews conducted with undocumented migrants (N=6), their experience of homelessness can be attributed to the absence of a residence permit and restricted rights.

Within this report, we highlight instances of homelessness among people with migrant backgrounds, aiming to offer insights for policymakers in sustainably preventing homelessness.

The research was funded by ARA in 2023. The finnish translation of the research will be published summer/fall 2024.

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