Homma Himaan ‘Homes that work’

Helsinki , Finland Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders, Target groups of housing
“The residents of the area, especially the elderly, were interested in their new neighbours and the service experiment. ”


Homma Himaan is a service that supports young people in finding a home and work in one ‘package’. It gives 18–26-year-old adults the possibility of combining housing and part-time employment. Homma himaan works via a digital apartment and job search platform. The tenants will receive a salary for the work done for the good of the neighbourhood. Tasks include, for instance, working as the property manager’s assistant, helping out elderly residents and developing the operations on shared premises. This allows the residents to compensate part of their rent through work. The aim is to support the youth on their path to independence and at the same time create their own well-being within the residential community around them. The initiative involves Helsinki Youth Department and social housing providers in Helsinki, such as Y-Foundation, Setlementtiasunnot, Nuorisosäätiö and Nuorisoasuntoliitto/NAL-Asunnot (and the aim is to further spread it across the country).


Ali Adow Hussein, a 21-year-old student, took up the offer: in December he moved into a Lumo home in Roihuvuori and, at the same time, found a work place close to home. During the half-year experiment, Ali did work for the good of the neighbourhood, receiving a salary of EUR 300 for 20 hours of work in a month. It is possible to add more working hours if wanted and Ali decides his own working time. This kind of timetable suited the student well. Before the work began, Ali said his strength was small-scale home repair, but he also said he was interested in learning new things during the experiment. The tasks could be, for example, helping out the janitor, beating rugs or developing the use of shared spaces. Residents have the possibility to affect the content of the work, and the help Ali offers is completely free of charge to the residents of Lumo homes. Ali’s work schedule is found on the door of the club room and residents are completely free to add jobs to it.The person ordering the work is responsible for giving the work instructions. Residents guide the work in their own home. In shared spaces the house manager and the chairman of house committee see to it that Ali gets to make a good start. “We have set up a WhatsApp group through which Ali can contact the house manager and housing advisor at the same time. We also use this to ask about what’s happening,” explains Pasanen. Ali has the possibility to continue living in the Lumo home in Roihuvuori after the experiment ends in May 2018. The future of the service will be decided after this part of the experiment ends.

Why it works

  • Employee determines working hours
  • Residents decide on the content of their work
  • Better Urban Housing: the initiators of the project invite companies to further develop services for better urban housing that include the youth in particular. The objective is to improve the comfort of living and the customer experience together with other parties