#affordablehousingdebate_02 AT DE FIHelsinki/FI

One year after the Helsinki office opening with the first tafkaoo organised panel discussion which results were a fundamental basis for our approach to develop affordable housing concepts for Finland, we met again in Helsinki.

This time for an Oxford-style debate about affordable housing, focused on the following assumption:

»to solve affordable housing in an urbanizing world, we should make housing publicly controlled infrastructure instead of letting the market solve it«. 


Moderated by Joakim Breitenstein from tafkaoo Helsinki, Hanna Dhalmann (The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA) and Otto Höller from tafkaoo architects spoke FOR the motion, while on the CONS side we heard the arguments of Markus Myllymäki (CEO at Toivo Group, a new Finnish real estate investment house) and Roger Wessman (Economist & Entrepreneur).


The audience was asked to vote before and after the podium discussion. Post-debate results showed a clear winner: In the end, 62% were convinced that to guarantee affordable housing, it will take a bit more than the profit-driven dynamics of the market. Compared to the pre-debate-results 7% more, while the »against the motion«-party remained stable at 14%.

Nevertheless, all debaters were in favor of, at least on some level, a hybrid system combining both »housing as publicly controlled infrastructure« and »letting the market solve it«. The debaters took their stand as either »for« or »against« for the sake of an interesting discussion.


So all in all, the question of affordable housing might not be one of »either-or« but of creating the perfect hybrid motor. If such a clear post-debate-majority seemed to support the idea that society should take more responsibility for constructing that hybrid-housing-motor, it might also be because many fear that the engineers of the market might become irreversibly dominant on the housing question …