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For those staying in or looking for home accommodation

I am lucky to have my home stay hosts and all the help and support they give. They are my second family here in Finland and the people closest to my heart.

– Asylum seeker in home stay, Helsinki

Kuva: Outi Neuvonen

If you seek international protection in Finland, you have a right to decide where you live. The authorities provide accommodation for asylum seekers in reception centres but you can live elsewhere as well.  

Home accommodation is one option. In this case you live in a home of a local person or family, usually together with the one(s) offering homestay.  

If you are interested home accommodation you can get advice from the Home Accommodation Support -association.

Important to consider before making a decision about home stay :

Getting to know one another and agreeing about basics

The basic principles of home accommodation are: homestay is voluntary, gratuitous (you are not expected to pay or compensate for it in money or service to the host), decided together and egalitarian.  

It is adviced to meet and get to know one another beforehand.  

We also recommend discussing certain practical matters before moving in, for example: basic rules, shared and private spaces at home, sharing housework, privacy, guests, tidiness, possible pets etc.  

If desired, both parties can agree upon the practical matters either verbally or in written form. The Home Accommodation Support association has drafted an agreement which can be used, and both parties can sign it. The draft agreement can be found here.

The home stay provider will usually have certain extra costs related to accommodation of asylum seeker. If the resident has income or wealth, it can also be agreed that they pay part of the extra costs (for example electricity or water bill related costs).  


The home stay provider can help the resident in matters related to asylum /residence permit proceedings or assist in looking for employment but this is not expected or an obligation of theirs. You can receive help from other sources as well.  

The hosted one has no obligation to talk about their personal matters (for example asylum process). Everyone makes their own decision about how much they share. 

It is not allowed to spread information or for example photographs of the other party without permission.  

Both parties of home accommodation will always have a right to end the homestay. It is recommended to inform the other party well in advance, if possible. The asylum seeker can always move to the reception centre.  

Before decision making it is useful to read the Guide to Home Accommodation. It is translated into several languages and in English can be found here.

Safety and security

Think in advace: Do I feel safe in this homestay? Can I be myself in it?  

In Home Accommodation Network we have thought a lot about safety and security issues. Everyone involved in the activities needs to be committed to basic principles.  

The association has collaborated with an anti-violence expert Elina Nikulainen and drawn up guidelines to prevent sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. The guidelines in English can be found here.

Stay connected to the reception centre

Everyone seeking international protection (asylum / temporary protection) in Finland is registered to a certain reception centre for asylum seekers (vastaanottokeskus).  

The center provides monthly allowances and social and health services to asylum seekers.  

To have the asylum application process remain active the asylum seeker must be registered at the reception center.  

If you are living outside of the centre, you are registered in the system as a private accommodation resident (yksityismajoittuja-asiakas).  

Even if living in home accommodation you have the same rights as the other asylum seekers. 

Social worker in the reception center will give you advice and guidance if you need it to take care of your matters.