Students using online services to apply for apartments is nothing new, but students in the Helsinki region can now use the Hoas Matchie service to find a roommate. The service is the only one of its kind in Europe.
Hoas Matchie is a new and innovative service concept that allows apartment seekers to get to know each other in a safe online environment. Once they find a match, they can apply for a Hoas apartment together. Users can specify their own habits and personality traits as well as those of their ideal roommate to quickly find the best matching person to live with.
Accommodation sharing is a growing trend, especially in cities, where there is a shortage of apartments and rents are high. Students are particularly keen to share an apartment. They are attracted by lower rental costs as well as the social dimension of having a roommate and the opportunity to meet new people. Approximately 20 percent of the higher education students in the Helsinki region live in Hoas apartments, corresponding to some 18,000 tenants. Hoas is planning to increase its housing production from the current level of producing new homes for 200 students per year to approximately 400–500 students.
Hoas Matchie has seen a rapid increase in the number of users since its launch in October 2016. More than 100 users registered during the first 24 hours. By the end of the first week, the service had over 400 users. The number of registered users now exceeds 1,300, with some 600 active profiles currently using the service to find the roommate of their dreams. The first matches made via the service moved into Hoas apartments at the turn of the year, and more matches are being made all the time.
“Hoas provides many students with their first home. Leaving the nest and potentially moving to a different city represents a major life change. Hoas Matchie gives students the opportunity to choose their roommate instead of having the landlord randomly assign two strangers to the same apartment. This entirely new form of accommodation combines the best aspects of living in a student dormitory and sharing an apartment with a friend. Hoas Matchie gives the new roommates the opportunity to get to know each other before moving in together, which can help increase their peace of mind.”Tommi Ora, Director, Innovations & Brand
The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region, has worked since 1969 to provide affordable rental housing for students. In a little over 45 years, that small amount of start-up capital has turned into a business with a turnover of 70 million euro and 9 300 student apartments