Palosaari tenant committee elected the best in Finland

The best tenant committee in Finland is in Vaasa!  VOAS Palosaari tenant committee won the competition organized by student housing foundations.

VOAS’ Palosaari tenant committee was chosen as the best tenant committee in Finland in a competition organized by student housing foundations. The jury was particularly impressed by the variety of activities across the city and the large number of participants.

“The events seemed to have a good atmosphere and many participants. The activities were not limited to their own neighbourhood, the tenant committee organised excursions, sports events and parties” says Aino Halinen from SYL.

In government-supported housing, such as student housing, tenant committees represent the residents to the landlord and support the residents’ sense of community. For example, they organize events for residents, take a stance on plans for the properties and provide items for residents to borrow.

Tenant activities are open to all residents.

“The winning committee had a great international atmosphere. At its best, it can help you get to know new people and cultures” says Linda Vallenius from SAMOK.

Through student activities, student housing foundations receive important feedback to improve their facilities and operations.

“Thanks to the active involvement of the Palosaari Tenant Committee, the new VOAS Study & Chill common area will be made available to all residents in the area. This is a great example of how the handprint of the tenant committees can be seen long after moving out” Lauri Lehtoruusu, Executive Director of the Finnish Student Housing Association (SOA), praises.

According to the chairman of the Palosaari tenant committee, the residents’ involvement and the opportunity to have a say makes the apartment feel like home:

“For me, it means a sense of community and the opportunity to influence my own and the shared living environment. I have been elected to represent the residents on the VOAS board through the residents’ committee and I think that understanding and taking responsibility for the whole foundation makes the apartment feel like a home, not a soulless student box,” says chairman Tuomas Rauta.

“The organisation of community events has been made possible thanks to the excellent cooperation with VOAS and the good resources we have at our disposal.  I like working with new people. You really do meet and get to know a lot of new people in our residents’ committee and at our events.”

The Best Resident Committee in Finland is a joint competition between student housing associations to highlight the importance of resident involvement. The competition was held in seven student housing associations, and seven active committees were selected to compete for the title of Finland’s best student council.

The winner of the competition was chosen by a three-person jury of student and student housing organisations. The jury consisted of board member Linda Vallenius from SAMOK, Aino Halinen from the Student Union of Finland (SYL) and Executive Director Lauri Lehtoruusu from SOA.

Watch the video presentation of the winning committee via this link.