Residential plots for professional builders

The City of Helsinki allocates its residential plots mainly by leasing them through public competitions and plot draws.

On this page

Ongoing competitions and plot draws

You can find all the City of Helsinki’s ongoing and upcoming plot competitions and draws on the Plot draws and competitions page

How the City of Helsinki allocates plots

The preferred plot recipients in public residential plot draws are:

  • new operators who have not received a plot from the city before;
  • projects that aim to develop housing construction or implement the area’s land use or housing policy objectives;
  • applications from developers or developer consultants for a plot for regulated housing production.

We usually organise public residential plot draws about once a year. 

Registration and negotiation proceedings are more limited than public residential plot draws. They can be targeted at specific types of housing projects or specific builders, such as joint building.

We organise registration and negotiation proceedings every year.  

The recipients of plots intended for unregulated housing production are usually chosen through price competitions.

The city takes care of the development of housing construction by also organising a sufficient number of quality competitions. We organise them especially at sites of significance to the cityscape and at the starting sites of urban development projects.

Quality competitions can focus on a specific theme such as solutions promoting carbon neutrality.

We organise several competitions every year. 

The aim of the City of Helsinki’s Re-thinking Urban Housing programme is to improve the quality and appeal of living in blocks of flats and increase personalised solutions. We organise plot draws under the Re-thinking Urban Housing programme every year. The selection of the reservation recipients is based on an overall assessment, and the proposed implementation of the plot must have novelty value in accordance with the principles of the Re-thinking Urban Housing programme.

The programme provides developers with the opportunity to try new things and receive valuable guidance from the city experts for their development efforts. It also bolsters the visibility of the development project.

The Re-thinking Urban Housing programme focuses on innovative solutions that aim to meet the current needs related to housing and housing construction. The themes of the projects may be related to the adaptability of housing, the combination of work and housing, energy efficiency, affordability, and the comfort of living. The projects must comply with the city’s strategic housing policy and sustainable development goals. In the future, the programme will increasingly focus on suburban areas, for which projects will introduce new ideas and develop and revitalise their environment.

Re-thinking Urban Housing website (in Finnish)

Plots that have not been reserved in an open draw or competition are usually transferred to an ongoing plot draw in which anyone who is interested can apply for them. 

The ongoing plot draw is constantly in effect. You can find plots available for draw on the Plot draws and competitions page.


We make direct reservations without an open draw procedure or competition only on special grounds for the plot tenant and/or a partner chosen by them – for example, to promote the infill construction of the plot or for genuine novelty-creating development projects that have been approved as part of the Re-thinking Urban Housing programme.

Read more about Re-thinking Urban Housing 


How plot allocation proceeds

  1. Applying for a plot

    Apply for a plot through public plot draws or competitions. Click Plot draws and competitions for topical information

  2. Reservation of a plot

    Reservation of the plot is decided by the City Board, the Urban Environment committee or the plot manager.

    The plot reservation period is usually 2 years. 

    For a justified reason, the city usually extends the reservation period by one year at a time. The city requires that the party who has reserved the plot has actively promoted the project during the reservation period by, for example, making plans and conducting investigations concerning the project. The other requirements for the reservation must be met as well.

    Apply for an extension of the reservation period no later than two months before the end of the reservation period.

    Go to the application for an extension of the reservation period (docx)

    Send the application to opens default mail program)


  3. Project design

    The progress of the project is guided by the city’s regional teams, which bring together the city’s representatives. City representatives participating in the work of the regional teams in addition to the City Executive Office’s project manager are an expert from Building Control Service, a town planner, a traffic planner, an expert from the Plots unit and other experts from the City of Helsinki.

    A building permit is applied for when the regional team has deemed that prerequisites exist for applying for it. 

    Before applying for a building permit, the project must apply for/request a short-term lease agreement or a power of attorney for applying. A plot reservation does not entitle you to apply for a building permit.

  4. Applying for a building permit

    More information on applying for a building permit is available at Building permit and other permits

  5. Concluding a lease agreement or deed of sale

    When a building permit has been obtained for the project, the person reserving the plot concludes a lease agreement or deed of sale with the city.

  6. Construction of the plot

    The tenant or owner of the plot can start construction once the building permit has been approved, and the lease agreement or deed of sale with the city has been signed.

Frequently asked questions

The City of Helsinki mainly leases its residential plots. We only sell particularly valuable and attractive plots. 

Read more in the City of Helsinki’s plot allocation guidelines. 

The City of Helsinki allocates residential plots at market price.

However, Ara sites are an exception, as their market conformity is ensured by an impartial external expert or through price competitions.

Read more at the City of Helsinki’s plot allocation guidelines.  

Plots reserved for joint building can be applied for by:

  • Groups of natural persons 
  • Associations or other corporations that intend to carry out a group building project 
  • Builder consultation corporations.

Group applicants


  • Group applicants are a group of people who have not established an association or another corporation for a group building project.
  • The group acts as the developer of the project and as the founding shareholders of the housing company that may be established. The group concludes agreements concerning planning and the construction contract.

  • The members of the group must be natural persons of full legal capacity by the end of the application period. The group must appoint a contact person from among its members.

  • It must have at least the number of members indicated in the plot list. The minimum number has been derived from the number of the calculated number of feasible apartments on the plot.

Corporation applicants

  • Corporation applicants are associations or other corporations that intend to carry out a group[RT1]  building project.
  • The applicant acts as the developer of the project and as the founding shareholders of the housing company that may be established. The applicant concludes agreements concerning planning and the construction project.
  • The corporation must have the minimum number of members or share owners indicated in the plot list who are interested in and committed to the implementation of the joint construction project.

Consultant applicants

  • Consultant applicants refer to corporations engaged in developer consultancy.

  • The applicant must have sufficient experience and expertise, as well as sufficient resources for the management and consultancy of the construction project, as well as for gathering the people who will become residents.

  • The consultant acquires the plot, gathers the group members who will become residents and prepares the necessary plans on behalf of the group, and contracts and other agreements in a manner agreed separately with the members of the group if necessary.

Basically, townhouses are detached houses sharing walls with adjacent properties but with a plot of their own. Each plot and its buildings can be administratively separate, independent properties.

As a rule, we allocate townhouse plots by leasing them after a public plot draw has been organised for currently vacant townhouse plots. The city decides on the criteria for the allocation of townhouse plots and the requirements set for the recipient of the plot before starting the plot draw process.
If no implementer has been found for a townhouse plot in the plot draw, it will be transferred to an ongoing plot draw where all interested parties can apply for them.

We have already allocated townhouse plots from Alppikylä in Suurmetsä and Ormuspelto in Malmi, for example. The plots in the above areas have been available for application by private persons without any other requirements being imposed on the recipient of the plot. As a rule, the plots are leased in the order of application, one plot per applicant. Obtaining a plot has not required the establishment of a group, being a resident of Helsinki or the fulfilment of the requirement of having a family with children.

Brochure of townhouse plots in Alppikylä (pdf 24 Mb) (in Finnish)
Brochure of townhouse plots in Ormuspelto (pdf 8 Mb) (in Finnish)

Contact us by email

Send inquiries and contact requests for the city’s residential plots by email to: (Link opens default mail program) 

If your matter concerns an ongoing plot draw, detached house plots, townhouse plots or a joint building, please send an email to: opens default mail program)

If your matter concerns a specific plot, and you are the person reserving or leasing the plot, please contact the expert for the area directly. For contact information, see Map Service(Link leads to external service)


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