Young people given cheap rents in Finnish seniors home

Story highlights

  • Young people offered cheap accommodation in seniors home in Helsinki, Finland
  • Project aims to make renting affordable for youth and offer social benefits to seniors

(CNN)When Emil Bostrom's father left Helsinki to work abroad, the 23-year-old kindergarten teacher was left in the tricky position of having to find somewhere new to live in the notoriously pricey Finnish capital.

He initially persuaded relatives and friends to put him up in the short term. But that made "normal living" difficult.
    "It's a very expensive city to live in," Bostrom explains via email. "If you manage to get an apartment that the city owns, it can be quite affordable. But the amount of applicants for those apartments is so high that the waiting list takes forever," he adds.
      Nineteen-year-old trainee chef Jonatan Shaya found himself in a similar bind when his mother and brother decided to move out of Helsinki. Finding a place for himself was "hard when there (are) so many people who look for the same thing," he laments.
      It was the same story for 18-year-old Veera Dahlgren, who describes being stymied in her attempts to move out of her cramped family apartment.
      Crowds gather at a popular waterfront area in Helsinki, Finland.
      Yet Bostrom, Shaya and Dahlgren have been provided with an opportunity they hope will mean the end of all their housing problems.
      The trio are the first participants of "Oman Muotoinen Koti" (The House that Fits) scheme.
      The pilot project run by the City of Helsinki began this week and sees people under the age of 25 provided with cheap accommodation inside the city's Rudolf Seniors Home for one year.