Sofia Tynkkynen, Chair of ASY, the Housing Cooperative, talks about her year in tenant democracy.
The Residents' Committee's remit includes promoting the building's livability and community spirit. The residents' committee can organize activities for residents such as garden parties, recreational activities, board games or cooking nights, and refurbishing the residents' club room. During its term of office, the residents' committee draws up a budget plan for the use of the money earmarked for resident activities. The residents' committee can bring to the AYY its own ideas and those of other residents for improving the amenities.
Any resident aged 18 or over who wishes to do so can stand for election to the residents' committee. It is up to the residents themselves to decide how many residents are to be elected to the Residents' Committee. During their term of office, the residents' committee decides how many meetings they will hold and when.
The Housing Association is made up of residents' representatives, who are usually the chairpersons of the residents' committees. The meetings of the ASY deal with financial and property matters relating to the entire tenant base.
At the beginning of each year, the ASY is formed by inviting all the chairs of the tenants' committees to the first meeting of the housing association, where representatives and a chairman are elected. The ASY meets at least four times a year.
How did you decide to get involved in tenant democracy?
A friend of mine was the castle warden in my building, and they advertised it as an easy and fun activity. Thanks to their recommendation, I decided to get involved in tenant democracy and ended up becoming a chair of the residents’ committee.
What did you expect from your year on the residents' committee, and have you achieved these things during the year?
I wanted to improve the yard of our building and improve the community spirit. We then made some purchases for the yard and organized a barbecue at the end of the summer, where neighbors could meet each other. In December, we are still planning to organize a karting trial for the residents. So, the goals were achieved!
How did you decide to get involved in ASY?
My castle warden friend also recommended me to join ASY. In ASY I was interested in influencing housing beyond the issues of my own building and the small number of meetings convinced me that there would be enough time for this.
What do you think have been the most important topics discussed in ASY in 2023?
The most important topics discussed at ASY meetings this year have been the change of booking and payment practices for saunas, tendering for real estate services and the prices of door opening services.
Do you recommend resident activities to residents and why?
I definitely recommend it! It gives you a say in what happens in the building, how the tenant budget is spent and you get to know your neighbors. You can get involved on your own schedule and make a big difference with even a small contribution!
Are you interested in tenant democracy?
Attend the 2023 Annual Residents' Meetings on 29 or 30 November and sign up for the Residents' Committee. As chair of the Residents' Committee, you can also stand for election to the Housing Cooperative for the year 2024. In the Residents' Committee, you can for example influence how your building's budget is spent and help organize activities and events for residents.