Providing home accommodation for an asylum seeker in your own home is a fine opportunity to get to know new people, advance integration of those immigrated to Finland and to be part of civic engagement.
There are no specific requirements. You can become a host if you have enough space in your home and are willing to foster egalitarian, fair and safe accommodation.
You don´t have to be an asylum specialist or experienced in voluntary work. However, there are also other voluntary activities in Home Accommodation Network you can participate in, if you wish. Read more on Local groups -page.
Before making a decision about home accommodation
Becoming a home stay provider should be carefully considered. Reading the Home Accommodation Guide helps to understand all the things related to home stay and which matters are useful to agree upon with the one(s) hosted in advance.
We recommend that those who consider providing home accommodation participate in the training for new hosts. If suitable training is not available right away, we also have material on video.
You should consider for how long a period you can offer the home stay. We mainly strive for more long term accommodations (for example for the duration of the asylum process).
It is also good to think about your motivations for offering home stay and how much time and resources you can allocate it.
The costs related to home stay
Home accommodation is voluntary and gratuituous, and the hosts are not compensated for it.
If the resident has income or property it can be in some cases be agreed that they pay part of the extra costs related to accommodation, for example electricity or water bills.
One of the basic principles in Home Accommodation Network is striving for an egalitarian relationship between the parties in home accommodation, instead of the host being a “helper” of the one being hosted.
The home stay provider can of course define how things are done in their own home. They have more power resources in relation to the hosted one who has just moved into the country, whose asylum case is being processed and who does not yet know the Finnish society.
These things are good to take into account and consider beforehand, and to think about ways to act so that the relationship could become as equal as possible. Everyday life at home should be discussed openly right from the beginning.
Privacy and sharing
Everyone in home accommodation has a right to privacy. It is good to think in advance how to organize spaces at home so that there will be both shared everyday life and enough of privacy and own space for everyone.
Information or for example photographs of the other party shall not be shared publicly without permission.
The host has no obligation to assist the resident in legal proceedings or for example job seeking. Some hosts have also done this but it is everyone´s personal decision.
The resident has no obligation to talk about their private matters to the host, for example things related to the asylum process.
Safety and security
In the Network we have thought a lot about safety of all parties in home accommodation. People seeking international protection have been forced to flee from their home countries and may have experienced traumatizing events. For them it is especially important that they can feel safe in home stay.
The Home Accommodation Support –association has collaborated with an expert in anti-violation work Elina Nikulainen and produced Guidelines to Prevent Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment. The Guidelines are translated into English and can be found here.