The four apartment buildings in Helsinki have a common yard, which has proved difficult to manage.
New the block yard in the historic hospital area of Koskela has turned out to be a nightmare instead of a communal paradise. The problem has been the lack of cooperation between different properties.
The yard is surrounded by four houses. One of them is Avara’s rental apartments, the other is owner-occupied apartments and the other two are housing association apartments.
Corresponding block yards have become more common in Helsinki’s new residential areas. Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Anni Sinnemäki (Green) said in Helsingin Sanomat in March that the city’s intention is to spread blocky yards.
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In Koskela the problem is that the properties should take care of the yard together, but in practice the co-operation has not worked smoothly.
Some residents feel that different forms of housing in the houses are one of the causes of the problem. They think that Avara, for example, aims to earn rental income from its apartments at the lowest possible cost.
One of the residents of the block is Heli Nikula. He is a member of the board of the housing cooperative and is now showing what kind of problems there are in the common yard.
The tour starts from the waste room, which is used by all residents. The door of the waste room hangs loose against the wall. Any passer-by can enter, which worries residents.
“Someone can light up the garbage and get the whole block on fire,” Nikula says.
According to him, the fire inspector has already pointed out the matter in the winter, but the broken door has still not been repaired.
“The responsibility lies with Avara, but no one can be caught there.”
The situation is also updated by a “garbage bag” peeking into the trash Kaija and Ilkka Erkkilä introduce themselves. Garbage from others in their spare time collecting the couple believes the responsibilities and obligations do not work in the properties.
“It’s amazing that repair takes time. The birds are spreading the rubbish, and Ilkka said the two rats ran in the hospital bush. Yes, they can get here too, ”says Kaija Erkkilä.
“In general, new projects take time to work together to develop workable models and practices.”
Avaran Chairman of the Board Risto Kyhälä says he takes the problems of the block yard seriously. He denies that Avara would only seek the highest possible return on its investments.
“If a landlord does not manage their property in a way that is up-to-date, in good condition and comfortable, it will leave the rental market pretty quickly. In any case, Avara does not base its own investment philosophy on maximizing cost savings. ”
Kyhälä responds to the criticism that in Avara’s sites, property managers log all service requests and actions.
“It is not true that Avara would not want to cooperate.”
Avara is one of Finland’s leading residential real estate investment companies. It owns about 8,000 rental apartments.
Next the problem is in the courtyard where the food courier has just parked his car – despite the fact that there is a sign in front that says the yard is a way out. Parking is prohibited in Finnish, Swedish and English. The deterrent fee is 60 euros.
The windshield of the car has a disabled parking sign, but sent walks effortlessly on its own.
This is not an isolated case, but the same thing happens all the time, Nikula says.
In January he decided to start photographing cars parked in the yard without permission. In a few months, the album has amassed hundreds of pictures of improperly parked cars.
Nikula has given feedback on food referrals to Foodora and Wolt. In response, he has heard that the envoys are busy, they are just staying in the yard, and they don’t have time to look for parking spaces.
According to him, cars driving in the yard have even caused accidents. One of these happened before Easter at a playground where Nikula rocked her child and her friend.
When the child pointed out that parking is not allowed in the yard, the motorist hurried frighteningly towards the playground, Nikula says.
“I called the emergency center and reported the crime.”
Fire inspector Marja-Liisa Paananen The Helsinki Rescue Department confirms to HS that he has pointed out the challenges of the block yard to the property managers. He says he has asked the properties to take steps not to park on the rescue road.
“It is important to keep rescue routes unobstructed so that rescue services can use them in the event of an accident.”
Some residents would like a boom that locks at the front of the yard to prevent them from driving. It has not been obtained because the cooperation does not work and an individual property cannot make decisions on its own, Nikula says.
Travel the yard doesn’t go far as Nikula points to the fence behind which is a drop of meters down the street. The safety glass has already been scattered.
The yard also lacks the barbecue typical of many apartment buildings, as some of the residents of the housing cooperative have dreamed of.
“Everyone should contribute to the costs because the procurement will be shared,” says Nikula.
“We would have a lot of ideas, but they would either not be able to be implemented or they would be left to be implemented by our housing association.”
Managing the housing company located in the block Olli-Pekka Nissinen says that a co-ordination agreement has been drawn up for the region, which has led to a decision by the board to deal with common issues.
Why can’t things still be taken care of?
“In general, new projects take time before working models and practices are available for collaboration. This project, which I hosted, has only been handed over a few months ago and a board has been elected and a representative of the board of trustees, ”says Nissinen.
Helsinki the city is currently working on a toolkit for developing blocky yards with the Backyard Backyard movement and Femma Planning, which specializes in participatory urban planning.
This is a website that provides practical help for blocky yards. The site is scheduled for release in the fall.
However, the city cannot intervene in the problems of individual properties or where they want to spend their money, says the project manager Salla Ahokas From the city of Helsinki.
“The role of the city is mainly to inform and encourage the process.”
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