What do ARA, a needs assessment and private wealth limitation mean?

When you are looking for a rental apartment, you will run into new, unfamiliar terms. As these terms are not commonly used, we will explain them to you. The terms are related to a system which is used to support more affordable housing through ARA subsidies.

1) What is ARA?

ARA, i.e. the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, is an agency operating under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment and tasked with implementing the state housing policy. ARA enables the construction and renovation of affordable ARA apartments through guarantees and loans. The rents of the ARA rental apartments are regulated, whereas the rents on the free markets are usually higher and defined by the owner of the apartment. The residents of the ARA apartments have a better opportunity to influence on their living environment.

When selecting residents for ARA rental apartments, the potential tenant’s urgency of getting an apartment, income and wealth are considered. The limits for these vary between municipalities. The income and wealth of the residents as well as the urgency of the housing needs are considered in ARA rental apartment selections. One of the aims is also to make the apartments comfortable. Therefore, the residents comprise a diverse range of people; e.g. students, singles, couples, pensioners and families with children. Some of the ARA apartments are reserved for a special group, for example, for people who have reached the age of 55.


Learn more about the rental apartments.


2) The needs assessment guides the M2-Kodit residential selection


The residential selection for M2-Kodit’s apartments, similarly as for all the ARA apartments, is made on the basis of the need assessment. The needs assessment refers to all the issues which define how strong the applicant’s need is to get an ARA apartment.


In other words, it refers to the criteria used to offer apartments to applicants. Homeless people and applicants who are under the threat of losing their apartment are prioritised. Applicants are not put on the waiting list on the basis of the filing date of application, but the most suitable applicant is selected when an apartment becomes vacant.

Learn more about M2-Kodit needs assessment when selecting residents.


3) The private wealth limitation is a crucial criterion

As the ARA rental apartments are intended for those in need, the tenants are subject to certain private wealth limitations. Private wealth refers, for example, to the ownership of properties, forest and shares. You can check your own wealth information from the Tax Administration’s annual tax decision and through the omavero.fi service. You can ask about the value (i.e. the current selling price) of your owner-occupied apartment and property from a real estate agent or study the selling prices in the area.


The amount of the private wealth limitations varies by the year and municipality. The number of people moving in to the rental apartment also affects the private wealth limitations. The more people, the higher the combined wealth may be.


Are you interested? Rear more about private wealth limitations.


Do you have questions about the other rental housing terms? Read more about a security, credit note and tenant obligations.