Housing service wants to create the best student life in the world

Housing is one of Aalto University Student Union’s most important member services. In this blog, Service Manager Riitu Nuutinen writes about the housing service's operating principles and goals and addresses current issues in AYY’s housing.
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Housing is one of AYY's most important member services, and a large part of our organization works within housing. In addition to laws, the housing service is governed by many different documents. The property strategy decided by the delegation sets goals for the development of housing and real estate operations in the coming years. Housing policy paper defines AYY’s housing policy goals and sets ideological principles for housing services. Housing regulations, on the other hand, establishes principles and rules for choosing tenants. If necessary, the regulations are interpreted in a housing committee, consisting of student union representatives and residents, whose task is to process requests and complaints received from the residents.

For us, the documents regulating the housing service are not just some papers. Our business is genuinely based on the documents and we feel that the guidelines and goals set for our business are an important part of our everyday work. Our common goal and approach in AYY's housing service is to create the world's best student life. For me this is an important reason why I want to work in the student union.

In the housing policy paper, the principles of impartiality, need-based and member-driven housing, flexibility, and educational function have been established for our housing operations. The principles are crucial in the choice of tenants as well as in the residents' opportunities to influence their own housing and living comfort. The principles are also evident in how we approach to the themes of communality in our operations. And of course, communality is much more than collective housing. We consider this when the existing property base is developed and new is built.

Today AYY provides homes for over 3200 people. According to the goals of the property strategy, this amount will increase by several hundred in the coming years. The strategic goals give us direction in developing digital services and enabling different forms of communality and increasingly open communication. When we build new student housing, we do not only build walls and houses. We are building homes and spaces that will meet the needs of the residents and the whole community. In the future, we want to create value for our members - homes where one can live comfortably and with reasonable housing costs and spaces that enable new forms of communality.

Last year, we concentrated especially on developing resident activities and internal processes. The residents' sorting possibilities have been mapped and improved. Our housing application system Domo is in the process of being developed to serve even during the period of residence. This year, we will continue to work to ensure that the information on the apartments is available already at the application stage. We are aware that detailed information about, for example, surface materials or the direction of the windows is important to many at an early stage of the application process.

The members and residents are of course involved in developing housing. A genuine member-based service arises only by involving members and residents in all stages of development. The residents can influence and participate, for example by attending the house meetings where a shop steward, i.e. "Castle warden" is selected and other current issues are discussed. At the house meetings, a separate resident council can also be elected, which can develop common areas or arrange activities for the residents with the support of AYY. Many houses also have active groups on social media where common housing issues are discussed.


Read more:

  • Familiarize yourself with AYY's property strategy and housing policy paper: https://www.ayy.fi/en/administrative-documents/regulations
  • How you can influence as a resident: https://www.ayy.fi/en/housing/residents-have-influence


Riitu Nuutinen

Service Manager, AYY

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