International news

With the declaration signed in Portugal on 21 June 2021, the EU Member States make the commitment to take determined action to eradicate homelessness by 2030.

"We know that homelessness is directly linked to social, health and mental health problems. This is why Finland has for a long time worked hard to combat homelessness," Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen said when opening the roundtable discussions after the declaration had been signed.

"We are very happy that the other European countries have also raised the level of ambition in their work against homelessness."

The pledges made in the declaration include better cooperation among the EU and its Member States in eradicating homelessness and adequate funding for the work. A cooperation body will be set up as a platform for sharing means and solutions to support the Member States.

Finland is the only EU country where homelessness has been decreasing for several consecutive years.

"This has required – and still requires – persistent efforts, and we will be happy to share the knowledge we have accumulated during this process. For example, Finland's Housing First principle has proven an effective tool, and we encourage the other EU countries to adopt it as well," Mikkonen says.

In line with the Government Programme, the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, together with other ministries, key urban districts, service providers and NGOs, has launched a cooperation programme to halve homelessness by 2023.

The work to prevent homelessness in advance is also supported by making housing advice a statutory obligation.

Source: Ministry of the environment