Helsinki City Board decided to set up a Housing Production Committee in November 1948. The committee was set up in order to relieve the post-war housing shortage. It was given the task of drawing up a proposal for spending the money allocated to housing production in the 1949 budget. The committee suggested that the funds be used for developing blocks of flats and reserved for the building needs of the city and city-owned companies. This was done.
As time went by, the tasks of the committee and the functions of housing production became more specific. At the end of the 1950s, the committee’s tasks included planning work for the city and city-owned companies, management of building production within the limits set by the funds granted, establishment of housing associations and preparation and signing of contracts.
The importance of the Helsinki Housing Production Committee and housing production was further solidified as the city started preparing housing programmes towards the end of the 1960s. It was initially required by law that cities and municipalities over 10,000 inhabitants had to prepare annual housing programmes covering at least five years. The programmes were to be discussed in the city councils. Subsequently, the preparation of a housing programme proper was made voluntary for all municipalities, but the City of Helsinki still considers the land use and housing programme an important document. It is prepared jointly by several different branches of administration and is regarded by the City Council as a matter of great political weight.
In order to promote the balanced development of the different areas of the city, the tasks of housing production have been extended to include all types of housing tenure statuses. The city’s own owner-occupied housing production is often utilised at the initial stages of new residential areas. This paves the way for other developers to build homes in the areas.
In the 1970s, housing production's tasks were further extended to cover the renovation of city-owned homes. During its history of over 60 years, housing production has built nearly 65,000 homes in the capital and renovated almost 40,000 homes.