Greetings from Markku

Greetings from Markku

Dear tenants, members of the board of DAS, other elected persons and DAS staff!

Since retiring from the position of University of Lapland Faculty of Law Administrative Manager on 1 September 2018 after 38 years, the position of trust in the board of DAS after 35 years is also coming to end. The years have gone by fast.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be contributing to students’ living in Rovaniemi. Even though the meetings of board of DAS has been held mainly after the working hours, it has not been repellent to go to the meetings. On the contrary, the enthusiasm and youthful flow of DAS staff, elected students of the board and other persons have given me more boost.

In Finland student housing and building new student housing is mainly done by non-profit organisations; student housing foundations. If we would have not built this kind of system for student housing, would many students given up on studying due to expensive living costs. Building reasonable priced student housing has been an essential part of Finnish education policy. Numbers shows results also. When in 1985 DAS had 12 houses and 1013 apartment places, we now have 31 buildings and 1663 apartment places. 

Long term working in the board of DAS has been an interesting and instructive journey. The most refresh example is the eight layered wooden apartment building, DAS Kelo, which is under construction this moment to Riihipellonpuisto opposite to University of Lapland. It will be ready in summer 2019 and consists of 103 studios. The project has grown interest throughout Finland. I had to get familiar with wooden constructing myself also. Now I am confident with the benefits and healthiness of it. This project is also connected with lots of research including for example wooden constructing and sustainable development. 

Building student housing to Rovaniemi has been a team game. It has required many organizations to reach the goals. We started small. DAS was founded 1969 by City of Rovaniemi, Rovaniemen Naiskotiteollisuuskoulun kannatusyhdistys r.y. and Työkeskus Rovalan kannatusyhdistys r.y. The government has created the general framework for housing foundations. An essential part of that is funding and for that, we are to thank ARA (the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland). The city of Rovaniemi has been favourable towards DAS by zoning reasonable priced plots to places that are suitable for DAS.  Without these measures, construction would have not been possible. 

Ultimately, it comes to people who create the operations. The city of Rovaniemi has appointed part of the members and the chairperson of the board of DAS. It has been wonderful to have such skilled people for the operation and at the same time, personal friendships have taken shape. Student union, student associations from different universities, tenant committees have been all very active in DAS administration and in developing the operations. The same goes with the person’s part of DAS administration coming from different schools. Thank you all. 

Essential part of operations is the skilled staff at DAS. Managing director and the small group of personnel, which have always made me proud, have had to work sometimes near the outer limits but always handled the business anyway. You are great people. 

The year 2019 is the DAS 50th anniversary. All the best for the celebrating foundation!

Thank you for all the co-operation
Markku Vartiainen
Vice-chairman of the board of DAS 


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