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Yle's questions result in probe of youth foundation

Nuoriosäätiö, the non-profit youth foundation with close ties to the Centre Party is facing scrutiny about its investments and business dealings. An Yle investigative report found that the group is selling its apartments on the open market even though the foundation's purpose is to provide affordable housing to younger people.

Nuorisosäätiön rakennuttamiskohde Lahdessa.
Nuorisosäätiö rakennuttaa Lahden ydinkeskustaan kerrostaloa, johon tulee yli 250 asuntoa. Talon ylimpiin kerroksiin rakennetaan lähes 300-neliön kattohuoneistoja. Image: Jyri Hänninen / Yle

According to a new Yle report, the Patent and Registration Office and the Housing Finance and Development Centre are looking into the youth foundation Nuoriosäätiö's activities.

According to experts Yle spoke to the foundation had also made risky investments which were contrary to their guidelines.

The experts called the public housing foundation's investments were exceptional and risky even for a company in the private sector.

Nuoriosäätiö owns thousands of flats around the country. The foundation has built up its estate of properties worth hundreds of millions of euros largely paid for with public funds from the Housing Finance and Development Centre and from slot machine organisation RAY.

For example, since the year 2000, RAY has reportedly handed the foundation some 35 million euros in grants.

Authorities are also interested in a real estate investment firm which has been working with the foundation.

According to the report, Nuoriosäätiö 's ombudsman Aki Haaro and its chair Perttu Nousiainen were key figures in that investment firm.

The decision by the Patent Office and the Housing centre to investigate Nuoriosäätiö was made after Yle requested for their reactions to the foundation's investments.

In email correspondence, both Haaro and Nousiainen assured Yle that the foundation's activities were above board but declined to be interviewed.

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