Once again, the demand for student accommodation spikes as the new students arrive on campuses. At AYY, newcomers lacking accommodation will this autumn be assisted by Emergency Housing Coordinator Larissa Haggrén. The art education student has previously worked in AYY’s member services at the now-closed Arabia service point and also been actively involved with student associations. “I’ve been helping out new students quite a lot even before through my work and association roles, in my current position I’m just mainly focusing on housing services,” says Haggrén.
Haggrén anticipates a similar demand for emergency housing as in previous years. For now, there have only been a few lodgers, but with September approaching, there are more and more inquiries. “The service is most useful for international students who cannot get to apartment viewings before they arrive in Finland. We can’t make flats appear out of thin air, but we are doing our best,” ensures Haggrén.
The task of the Emergency Housing Coordinator is to give advice and tips on looking for an apartment, as well as informing people about emergency housing. However, emergency housing is only used as the last option, as there are limited places available. Haggrén also points out that a place can only be reserved a maximum of three working days before arrival. “If emergency housing is decided upon, I’ll arrange picking up the keys and other practicalities with the student.”
Haggrén advises new students with no prearranged accommodation to keep their search criteria as broad as possible. In addition to AYY and HOAS, it’s worth looking for apartments elsewhere, such as the private market. “The broader the criteria you can give, the better the chances of finding an apartment. Studios are the most requested housing type, so if you’re looking on your own, it’s definitely worth applying for a room in shared apartments as well and, if possible, bigger apartments too.”
If you can’t find permanent accommodation straightaway, staying in a hotel or a hostel, for example, might be a temporary solution. Haggrén encourages anyone who is concerned about their accommodation situation to get in touch with her. “There’s not much room in emergency housing and we can’t make any definite promises, but we aim to find a place for everybody who needs one.”
The Emergency Housing Coordinator can be reached until 28 Sept 2018. Her contact details and more information on emergency housing can be found here: https://ayy.fi/en/housing/apartment-seekers/how-to-apply-for-housing/emergency-housing/