The many forms of ideal housing

The range of housing solutions is just as diverse as people.

If expertise took nothing more than long experience, many of us would be experts in child care, cleaning, cooking, driving, sleeping, relationships, communications, perhaps even the coronavirus and the related protective measures and, in particular, housing.

However, I am sure all of us agree that it is not that simple.

Our available test set and perspective are simply too narrow for this.

In real life and large scale, the range of housing solutions is just as diverse as people. We all have different financial and living situations that may vary even quite drastically from time to time, which is why a solution that may seem small and impractical to one may be another’s greatest dream.

I was thinking about this after reading a story in Iltalehti about a person who had spent 40 years living in a 7 m2 apartment, enjoying the shared sauna in the building and all the services of downtown Helsinki. The apartment was recently sold to a new occupant at a price of EUR 14,000 per square metre (story in Finnish).

I am sure both owners of the apartment could have spent their money differently, and I am equally sure that many people – with their personal ideas about housing – would have encouraged them to choose a different path.

But, in the end, who are we to dictate where and how other people should live?

In self-developed housing production, the constructor is guided by orders as well as numerous daily customer meetings in its construction work. In the end, successful customer insight can only be confirmed by the customer as they decide to either buy or reject the apartment.

The choices and changes made by customers during construction fine-tune the insight in the process of transforming the apartment into a home.

YIT’s goal is to enable people to live the way they want to and make choices that guide future housing development. Customer insight based on the actual needs of the customers benefits the cities, the residents and the developers of apartments who, obviously, want their products to sell.

Loosely translated, the Finnish Wikipedia describes insight, or understanding, as follows:

“Insight or understanding refers to the ability to take in information so deeply and comprehensively that the information is easy to remember and use for diverse purposes. The ability to understand the thinking and actions of other people is called empathy; an empathetic person is able to see another person’s viewpoint, regardless of their own opinion on the matter.

That last thought is good to remember, no less so than when talking about housing.

In this video Vice President (Strategy and Development, Housing) Marko Oinas tells how the digitalization and the industrialization of the construction business is likely to proceed during this decade.


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Marko OInas
Interim Executive Vice President, Housing Finland and CEE