CEO’s review

”As elsewhere in the world, the most significant external factor affecting the foundation in 2020 was the corona pandemic, the impact of which on the health of the foundation’s personnel, tenants, customers, partners and other stakeholders was sought to minimize and reject occupancy rate decrease and other potential negative effects on the foundation’s operations where possible. So far, the negative effects are estimated to have been particularly pronounced in the slight decline in occupancy and in changes in the work community’s internal and stakeholder engagement, some of which are likely to remain long-term or permanent and some are also positive. The latter will be strengthened.”

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Construction projects

New development Tyyssija’s construction contract was signed with Peab Oy in March 2020. The building permit for the project became final in March and construction work began in April. The work will be completed by the end of 2021. The principal designer of the project is SIGGE Arkkitehdit Oy, the structural designer is A-insinöörit Suunnittelu Oy, the HVAC designer is LVI-Soisalo Oy and the electrical designer is Karawatski Oy. The humidity coordinator of the project is Sitowise Oy. In addition to TYS’s office, convenience store K-Kylänvalinta, Arkea’s student restaurant and Campus Sport’s gym will be located in the business premises located on the first floor of Tyyssija.

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Sustainable development

During the year, efforts were made in communication related to sustainable development, energy saving and participated in various energy efficiency projects. In October-December the theme of tenant communication was sustainable development, and various channels reported extensively on e.g. recycling and energy saving. During the year, TYS participated in the University of Turku Department of Psychology´s research carried out with the nudge method. The research project, which was started in 2019 and continued until May 2020 was based on emotional messages aimed at reducing the tenants water consumption. In addition, in the fall, tenants had the opportunity to participate in the  HeatSeeker game pilot developed by LudoCraft game studio. The goal of the game was to increase tenants knowledge on how district heating works and how the resident can make a difference in the environmental impact of their housing. The game was implemented in collaboration with Turku Energia and with other district heating companies.

As of October 2019, the waste management of all the foundation’s locations (with the exception of Auringonnousu and Iltakajo) has been carried out in a carbon-neutral manner, i.e. the emissions from waste management have been offset. Emissions from waste management are offset by sequestering the equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere through Gold Standard-certified afforestation projects. In addition to carbon sequestering, the projects also contribute to other sustainable development objectives. The projects, for example, support local employment and strengthen biodiversity. Currently, the carbon footprint is being offset by a Central American rainforest afforestation project. The service is provided by Lassila & Tikanoja, which is responsible for waste management. The carbon footprint of waste management in 2020 was 34 CO2 eq. tonnes and emissions were offset for the entire year.

In January 2020, a joint application was submitted by the City of Turku and Dijon for the European Union’s Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) Lighthouse project, where one of the objectives is to create model examples of climate-positive neighbourhoods. The project name of the application was RESPONSE-integrRatEd Solutions for POsitive eNergy and reSilient CitiEs. A decision was received in April inviting the application consortium to financial negotiations. Negotiations were completed in the autumn and the project began on 1.10.2020. The duration of the project is five years (60 months), of which the first two years are set aside for the implementation of the project and the remaining three years for the monitoring of the implementation. Most of the implementations in the Turku Student Village Foundation will take place in 2021.
The project includes, for example, the installation of solar panels at Student Village 5C and Nummenranta. Tyyssija construction is part of the energy positive area of the RESPONSE project, and solar panels will be installed on its roof in the spring of 2022.

During 2020, the shared kitchen recycling experiment launched in the fall of 2019 was continued in the Student Village West, with the aim of improving the tenants’ recycling opportunities and testing whether sorting is successful in shared kitchens. In addition to combustible waste, collection containers for plastic, biowaste, cardboard, glass and metal were delivered to the kitchens. The experiment was found to be successful and recycling bins were added in the spring of 2020 to two houses. In the spring of 2021, the recycling will be further expanded to four houses.

Finances

Rent from student apartments
and net revenue (million €)

Average rent and maintenance costs (€)

Maintenance costs of properties (%)

Debt repayment and interest costs

Loans in loan types (%)

Net revenue

26,7

million €

For the renovation of properties

5,4

million €

Average rent

12,50

€ / m²/ month

Tenants

6628

Rental applications

2696

New rental contracts

4726

Apartments

6812

Apartment places

Utilization rate

Of the foundation’s tenants lived in one person apartments, aka studios or shared flats

Of the foundation’s tenants lived in family apartments.

6426

Tenants

of which

1595

International students

The event committee brings all the tenants together

In 2017 the advisory board of the tenant committees decided to establish their own event committee. The aim was that through the committee larger events where all the tenants can participate could be organized for the tenants of the Turku Student Village Foundation. After a successful first year the committee was re-established in 2018. Volunteers from different tenant committees went aboard. About six people have been actively involved. Additionally, other volunteers have participated in various events.

”Our wish has been to bring all the tenants together, and to create possibilities for doing things together”, says Tero Ahlgren, a member of the event committee.

The committee has considered it important that their activities are open to all tenants. For example, families have been taken into account in the planning of all of the events, and anyone can join the activities and the planning of events. At the same time the tenant bodies of the different housing units have met new faces.

”The idea has been all along that via the event committee we can create ideas for tenant activities for the smaller housing units, that could equally have tenant activities but don’t yet have any, of how common activities can be organized, and how the events can be at their most successful”, says Katri, a member of the committee.

During the year two larger events were organized, a midsummer trip to Vepsä island, and a New Year’s party. In the midsummer event a boat took the participants to Vepsä island, where the program included getting to know the island and barbecuing. The New Year’s event was organized at the Q house, where the program began during the day with a children’s event and continued with an evening party for the adults. In between there was a firework display for everyone.

”Both events had a lot of participants. In midsummer Vepsä had about 80, and at New Year’s there were about a hundred people. All the residents were represented, from those living alone to families and exchange students”, says Katri.

The event committee members were also consulting with the Cooperative WIMO, who organized the Block Party at the Student Village. The hope of the event committee members was that there would also be program for children. They did get some in the beginning of the day. The event was organized for the first time, and it will get another installment during the fall 2019.

The best service for clients
– the customer service pledge of the Turku Student Village Foundation

In the beginning of 2018, the Turku Student Village Foundation was the first student housing community to publish its customer service pledge. With its customer service pledge TYS tells its clients what kind of services they can expect from the foundation. In the pledge they have taken into account the different stages of being a customer – the rental applicants, residents, and those moving away. The pledge is also a message, expressing the commitments of the foundation. The pledge is tightly connected to fulfilling the strategy.

TYS is the first student housing community in Finland to introduce a customer service pledge. The fulfilling of the customer service pledge will be monitored on a monthly basis, and with respect to contacts, the reporting was put into use in February 2018. Regarding the messages received via the resident pages, the fulfillment of the pledge was monitored on a daily basis. The system ignores weekends and holidays, and regarding the replies, the average for the first year was 1.21 days.

Answering emails was monitored in the Freshdesk system, and during the first year they were answered in line with the service pledge up to 94.2 %. During 2019 both systems will be reported with percentages, and the aim is to answer all the messages up to at least 97%.

KTI Kiinteistötieto Ltd has carried out a rental information comparison. The results of the comparison will be ready by the beginning of June. The rental information comparison will be carried out every second year, based on the decision of the TYS board.

In accordance with the pledge, rental deposits have been returned to residents that have moved away within a month, if there were no outstanding fees.

In its customer service pledge TYS promises:

For applicants:

  • we will apply for an apartment for you together
    • when you are applying for an apartment, we will respond to your contact with us latest the next work day
    • the service adviser will help to choose an apartment that suits your situation.
  • the new students in the fall will get an offer for an apartment in maximum three months, unless they have limited their search
    • if there are free apartments, you will have an offer for one immediately
    • you can take care of almost all the tasks involved in renting an apartment electronically
  • our criteria for choosing residents are open and transparent
  • we are a safe and sure choice for those beginning their studies

 

For tenants:

  • we will respond to your inquiry by the end of the next working day at the very latest.
    • we serve you personally:
      in customer service, chat, social media, by phone, text message, email, and via the resident pages.
  • we guarantee you the opportunity to have an apartment during the whole duration of your studies.

 

For movers:

  • you can continue living after a year of graduation.
  • we will refund the deposit within one month of the end of the contract, if there are no outstanding fees.