Residents of the exclusive Kauniainen enclave are up in arms over a plan to set up a reception centre for unaccompanied asylum seeker minors in the town.
The Helsinki Deaconess Institute wants to accommodate underage Afghan asylum seekers in a rental property in the affluent municipality, but locals say the building is "too elegant".
According to Yle's Swedish-language news, a plan by the Helsinki Deaconess Institute to put up unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan alongside well-heeled residents of Kauniainen has generated heated feelings in the municipality.
Kauniainen, a small municipality surrounded by Espoo in the capital region, is Finland's wealthiest municipality, with its lowest tax rate. The charity organisation intends to rent a property that will be occupied by nine children initially. The city’s construction committee has already approved the property for use as a group home.
However Kauniainen residents located close to the proposed facility have taken umbrage at the plan and have written to the city to express their displeasure. The residents say that the building slated to become the group home is too elegant for such purposes and could convey the wrong impression about the daily lives of average Finns.
According to the letter, the area where the building is located is too remote for the integration of migrant children.
Residents also expressed concern about security in the area.
"This is hardly a suitable way to treat the people of Kauniainen, who have paid taxes to the city of Kauniainen," the statement declared.
Swedish spoken Yle interviewed individuals living in the vicinity of the planned children’s facility.
One of the interviewees said that they were preparing to submit a complaint to the Administrative Court.
The City of Kauniainen is about half and half Finnish and Swedish spoken the average Swedish spoken population is less than 6% in entire Finland.
This article comes as a update to the following news: