• Juha Kaakinen. (Supplied )Source: Supplied
"Homelessness is not going to be solved with any paper. You need to act."
Sarah Malik

17 Aug 2018 - 1:03 PM  UPDATED 30 Aug 2018 - 12:39 PM

Finnish expert Juha Kaakinen's advice to resolve homelessness is simple: Action. 

"Life depends on action. There's more action needed. Homelessness is not going to be solved with any paper. You need to act," Kaakinen told the Filthy Rich and Homeless live audience on Thursday night. 

As head of the Y foundation, Kaakinen knows what is he is talking about. The group was one of the national developers of the Housing First scheme which saw Finland cut its homelessness rate in half between 2008 and 2016.

Kaakinen said political will and bipartisanship agreement was the driving force behind the success of the Housing First program in Finland. 

"If you want to end homelessness... it starts by providing permanent homes for homeless people... and this is a issue that cannot be owned by a political party." 

He said Finland made a saving of €15,000 ($23,400) a year per person in providing equitable housing and support for the homeless, and suggested Australia follow suit by rolling out 25,000 affordable homes each year through a national five-year plan. 

"It's totally possible, reasonable, economically viable and humane," he said.

"I have seen a lot wealth (in Australia). There's money around you - you just have to put it in the right place."

"Either we all live a reasonable world or nobody does."

Catch up on Filthy Rich and Homeless  live on SBS On Demand.


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