Forgot password

10 minutes with Jaana Närö, President of KOVA

Meet the faces behind housing providers across Europe

Helsinki, 3 July 2017 | Social, Urban, Economy, Energy
Jaana Närö, President of KOVA
Jaana Närö, President of KOVA

Every month we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we thought of introducing you to the President of our new member from Finland, KOVA that joined the family of Housing Europe at our General Assembly in Amsterdam last June. Jaana Närö presents the organisation, gives us information about the perception of housing in Finland and shares some thoughts about the current challenges at national level. Plus, as usual, she reveals her secret recipe for a good life-work balance.



  • I would describe KOVA in 10 words as an effective lobbyist and a leading umbrella organisation for non-profit rental housing companies.
  • Our key objective is create permanent conditions for production of affordable rental dwellings in Finland.
  • Apart from housing provision, our mission is to advocate affordable rental housing as an interest group for non-profit housing companies.
  • We joined Housing Europe because we feel that together we are stronger. Affordable housing is a major challenge all around Europe and we need to work together to tackle the issue.

In Finland

  • Housing is considered to be in Finland a core element in ensuring welfare because markets don't provide reasonable housing for all. Integrated residential areas are very important for social stability and mixing people to avoid social segregation.
  • Our key partners in the country are state administration and politicians as well as media and journalists. Also KOVA’s member companies are vital partners to KOVA as they define the agenda of our actions.
  • Our main housing policy priority at the moment is aimed at ensuring a socially and regionally stable and balanced housing market, eradicating long-term homelessness, and improving the living standards. Our focus is in low-income housing needs and shortage of rental housing in big centres. 
    The housing policy affects all population groups’ opportunities for access to housing appropriate for their life situations as well as sustainable development, societal needs, the smooth operation of the labour market, and the ability of residents to influence decision making. 
  • The major challenge for the country today is price of housing and the lack of affordable rental dwellings in growing cities. In addition, the growing number of empty dwellings in rural areas is becoming a bigger challenge.

In Person

  • I start my working day with having coffee with my colleagues.
  • After leaving the office I I take my dogs, two cairn terriers, for a walk in the woods.
  • Currently I read Paul Auster’s 4321, while listening to Bach’s violin concertos.
  • I move around by bicycle or in my hybrid car.
  • I prefer having on my table a delicious pasta accompanied by sparkling wine.


Leave comments