A clear majority of households with foreign background live in a rented home. While less than half of the households with Finnish background were tenants at the end of 2017, this proportion was three in four for households with foreign background. The most common tenure form among households with foreign background was state-subsidised housing (37 %), so-called Arava housing. Of households with Finnish background, 18 per cent lived in such dwellings. The share of state-subsidised housing has been decreasing since 2006 and non-subsidised rental dwellings have become more common. In 2017, 39 per cent of households with foreign background and 28 per cent of households with Finnish background rented their home from a private landlord.

Half of the households with Finnish background in Helsinki owned their homes while the share was less than one in five among households with foreign background. As a rule, households with many members more commonly live in owner-occupied dwellings than one- or two-person households. The percentage of four-person households living in an owner-occupied home was 71 for households with Finnish background and 28 for those with foreign background. However, only few (12 %) households with foreign background and with more than five members had an owner-occupied home.