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Vincit and the City of Helsinki team up to help ensure access to affordable apartments

The Hitas information system is used to keep track of apartments built on plots of land owned by the City of Helsinki – with the goal of ensuring that affordable apartments are available to buyers. Vincit helped the City of Helsinki to completely update the service to make it more usable and convenient. The update was done successfully within the budget and schedule constraints.

Brown brick apartment building
Courtyard of a yellow apartment building

The challenge – an outdated system

The Hitas system is not a public website, but an internal system in the form of a website for use by employees responsible for housing. The service is the place to register, search for, and report on Hitas apartments, price information, and owners – meaning this system is critical to make selling Helsinki City’s affordable apartments possible. 

Managing and maintaining data for the City of Helsinki and Hitas residents was becoming impossible with the old system. The system didn’t meet the current needs and it was cumbersome for City of Helsinki employees to maintain the required information and communicate it to residents.
The goal of the new information system was to make communication between housing secretaries and residents easier and smoother. Usability challenges would need to be fixed by modernizing the user interface to reflect today's user experience requirements.

We’re happy with the work done by Vincit – this was a complex project that Vincit helped to simplify. The new system makes it easier for us to work with the Hitas system.

Satu Rieger, Team Manager, City of Helsinki

The solution – building a better system 

Vincit worked with the City of Helsinki to build a new site with improved usability . The update also brings all the needed information into the system, which simplifies the process of selling Hitas apartments. An essential part of the Hitas system is the maximum price at which a Hitas apartment can be sold. This ceiling price is calculated using the new system and this price has to be communicated to the residents or housing company managers.
The technology platform that Helsinki uses to build modern information systems is Openshift, which is installed in the Azure cloud. It allows for high portability and reduces the risk of commitment to a single cloud service.

When using cloud services, it’s essential to protect the data so that even the cloud service providers cannot access it – which is why we used the City of Helsinki's own encryption keys to secure business-critical data and residents' personal data. 

Yellow apartment building

Expertise used

Service design
Project management
Software development
Agile methodology

The impact – improved usability for a key system

Ensuring access to more affordable housing in Helsinki


Helsinki’s so-called Hitas- apartments help to ensure a supply of affordable housing in Helsinki. With the new system, housing secretaries will be able to serve residents better and do their job more efficiently and the amount of manual work has been significantly reduced. The adaptability of the documents used to communicate information has also greatly improved. 

The known lifetime of the system will be significantly longer than the old system. This is influenced by the technologies chosen and having a solution designed from the beginning to be an upgradeable and maintainable system.

Better usability 


The new user interface is easier to use and all the needed information can now be found in one place, making life easier for City of Helsinki employees. The system provides residents with calculations, and other information related to the management of their apartments.