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Solutions found with Ukrainians on housing arrangements in Oulu

Publication date 29.11.2023 8.55 | Published in English on 7.12.2023 at 15.44
Press release

There is currently plenty of inaccurate information in the public about the transfer of Ukrainians from the Oulu reception centre. The new homes for Ukrainians are expected to be ready to move into on 1 December 2023 and their belongings will be delivered to them. Meanwhile this week, temporary accommodation has been provided in Oulu those who require it.

Last week, the Finnish Immigration Service temporarily transferred about 30 Ukrainians from Oulu to other reception centres. None of the clients living in the Oulu reception centre who are in employment or their families were moved. Some Ukrainians have also moved to private accommodation in Oulu. The Finnish Immigration Service has apologised for the inconvenience caused to Ukrainians.

“The Oulu reception centre is needed for work carried out by the security authorities. No other long-term residents are going to take up lodgings vacated by the Ukrainians”, says Elina Nurmi, Director of the Reception Unit.

Due to the changes in the situation on the Eastern Border and subsequent reorganisation of the reception centres to provide facilities for the use of security personnel and to make preparations to establish a registration centre in Oulu, it was no longer feasible for the Oulu reception centre to host the same number of clients as before. A registration centre is a facility where the authorities check the conditions of entry of asylum seekers and record their personal details. During the registration period, the immigrant is obliged to stay at the registration centre.

The Ukrainians affected have been contacted – many have already returned to Oulu

Of the relocated Ukrainians, 13 have already returned to Oulu, ten have indicated that they wish to stay at the reception centre to which they were relocated. Everyone who wishes to do so will be able to return to Oulu. The new apartments are expected to be ready to move into from 1 December 2023 onwards. If necessary, temporary accommodation will be arranged for those who wish to stay in Oulu.

We have been in contact with all the Ukrainians relocated from the Oulu reception centre and discussed accommodation options with them. "Despite our best efforts, we have yet to reach two of our clients", says Sirpa Rönkkömäki, Director of the Oulu Reception Centre.

Many Ukrainians may also apply for the right to change their municipality of residence and move to Oulu as a resident. Those with a municipality of residence can freely choose their place of residence. Some Ukrainians are in the process of applying for the municipality of residence, but exact number of these clients is yet to be confirmed. 

“By applying for the municipality of residence, our clients are able to live in Oulu on a more permanent basis and also exercise the same rights as any resident of the municipality", says Rönkkömäki.

Reception centres are intended to provide temporary accommodation until the client can become a resident of a municipality. For asylum seekers, this means that they will live in the reception centre until they become registered as municipal residents following a positive decision or until the reception services end after a negative decision. Ukrainians enjoying temporary protection can apply for the right to the municipality of residence and become residents of a municipality after a continuous one-year stay in Finland. However, Ukrainians are under no obligation to seek residence in a municipality. 

The belongings of Ukrainians to be delivered to new accommodation

There is also inaccurate information circulating in the public about the belongings of Ukrainians, which have been left behind at the Oulu reception centre. The Oulu Reception Centre is assisting the affected Ukrainians with delivering their belongings to their new homes and will pay for the removal costs. 

“We have been in contact with the Ukrainians about this and have assured them that their belongings will be delivered to them", says Rönkkömäki.

Further information to the media:

Elina Nurmi, Director of the Reception Unit, e-mail:, tel. +358 (0)295 433 037