Layout of housing application

Changes to rental housing application process from 20.10. – all applicants must submit new housing applications

Applications for the City of Helsinki’s rental housing will change in the autumn. In future, housing will be applied for with new housing applications, and the current housing applications will expire. You can apply for an Ara apartment with a new application from 20.10.2021.

All persons wishing to continue to apply for housing must submit a new application. 

Schedule of the changes:

  • All the current applications will expire on 18.11.2021.
  • You can apply for an Ara apartment with a new application from 20.10.2021. 
  • If you are swapping apartments with an exchange partner, you can submit a new separate application from 20.10.2021.
  • You can apply for job-related housing, non-subsidised housing and short-term housing with a new application from 4.11.2021.
  • All the new applications are valid for three months.

The new housing applications will differ from the current ones, allowing applicants to explain their situation more comprehensively to support the selection of tenants. Old housing applications cannot be transferred from the old system to the new system because of their different content. 

Changes will also be made to the validation of housing applications and the e-services in the autumn. In future, all housing applications will be submitted using strong authentication, such as online banking credentials or Mobile ID. The e-services environment for applying for rental housing will be moved from asiointi.hel.fi.

The new e-services for applying for rental housing will allow you to browse your housing applications, modify them and react to any housing offers.

Application for a change of apartments for those living in the Ara rental housing of Helsingin kaupungin asunnot Oy (Heka) and Helsingin Asuntohankinta will also change when a separate application is opened for those applying for mutual exchange of apartments. In future, it will be easier for people wanting to change apartments to find a housing application that matches their situation.

Questions and answers:

Why do I need to submit a new application?

As part of the system reform, applications for rental housing will be reformed. With the new applications, applicants can better present their situation, the reasons for their housing needs and when they need the housing. Old applications cannot be transferred from the old system to the new because of differences in content.   

How will my situation change with the new application?  

How long your application has been pending makes no difference in terms of receiving an ARA rental apartment.    

Tenants for ARA rental apartments of the City of Helsinki are selected based on their need for housing and the search criteria, not based on a queueing system. The tenant selection principles are based on legislation, ARA guidelines and the guidelines of the Helsinki City Board. The selection criteria include need for housing, wealth and income.  

Why are the applications changing? 

The city’s services are being reformed, including the application for rental housing. The reform will change all the rental housing application forms, electronic services and the background system. After the reform, housing applicants will be able to better express their housing needs. In addition, the e-services of housing application will be reformed, and we will be able to offer more diverse and better services than before, for example in terms of housing offers.    

How will I use strong authentication in the future? 

The confirmation of the application by strong authentication takes place after you have filled in the application. There are two ways to confirm your identity.    

  1. Confirm your identity using online banking credentials, Mobile ID or other strong authentication.
  2. Create user credentials to confirm your identity by logging in with your username and password. To register your user credentials, you need to use strong authentication or visit the rental housing application office information desk on Työpajankatu to confirm your identity. If you want to confirm your identity at the information desk, you will need a passport, identity card or other approved identity document. At the information desk, a housing advisor will confirm your identity for the background system, after which you can create a username and password using your e-mail address.   

With the new applications, co-applicants will also have to confirm their identity by strong authentication in order for the application to be included in tenant selection. An application will only be included in tenant selection after both the main applicant and any co-applicants have confirmed their identity and the application.   

Why must the co-applicant also use strong authentication? 

Strong electronic authentication means confirming an individual’s identity by electronic means. Strong electronic authentication enables customers to securely confirm their identity in an electronic service, and the service provider to identify its customers.   

Strong authentication is gradually expanding, and in the initial phase, strong authentication is required from the main applicant and co-applicant. Later on, the strong authentication requirement will also cover other adult applicants.   

I am unable to use strong authentication. What should I do? 

In this case, you must visit the rental housing application office information desk on Työpajankatu to confirm your identity. You will then receive instructions on how to create a username and password.  If you want to confirm your identity at the information desk, you will need a passport, identity card or other approved identity document. At the information desk, a housing advisor will confirm your identity for the background system, after which you can create a username and password using your e-mail address.   

What will happen to my current application? 

Current housing applications will expire on 18 November 2021. Until then, tenant selection decisions will be made based on current housing applications, and you can also edit your application if your situation changes. However, even after editing, the application will expire on 18 November 2021 meaning that the current applications are no longer valid for three months. You will be able to submit a new ARA application starting 20 October 2021. New housing applications for company housing and non-subsidised and short-term housing can be submitted starting 4 November.  

I have applied for an apartment in a new building. Am I included in the tenant selection? 

No need to worry – applicants will be informed of all tenant selections for new buildings by the end of September 2021, before the new application is opened. This means that the applications submitted now will be included in the tenant selection, and you will not need to submit a new application for closed applications for new buildings.