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Accessible and barrier-free housing through Helsinki OP real estate agents

Helsinki OP-Kiinteistökeskus and the Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities (FPD) have agreed on cooperation whereby barrier-free and accessible homes for people with disabilities will be sold and bought through Helsinki OP-Kiinteistökeskus.  

Helsinki OPKK will adopt the Easy-to-move logo for homes that meet the Easy-to-move criteria specified by ESKE, the Accessibility Centre of the FPD.
­- Many of our customers are willing to move to a home where barrier-free living is possible. We have now made it easier to identify such homes from among the range of flats and houses, says Sari Lähde, housing starts expert of Helsinki OPKK.

Kirsti Pesola, Director of ESKE, points out that accessibility does not cause any inconvenience to anyone but for many people it is necessary.

- Accessible and barrier-free housing will play an increasing role, especially when people are living longer and the number of senior citizens is increasing considerably. Many hope to live long in their own home. For this reason, accessibility is an important general quality criterion.

A home is eligible for the Easy-to-move logo if it meets the criteria specified by ESKE. Each home will be reviewed on a holistic basis.
- The Easy-to-move criteria include not only building features but also the built outdoor environment. Easy access to the home is important - this means not only wide barrier-free passages but also, say, proper lighting and signs. Within the home, it is important that those using wheelchairs or wheeled walking aids have access, for example, to storage space, sockets, window and door handles and kitchen appliances, explains Pesola.

The real estate agents of Helsinki OPKK will be in intense cooperation with ESKE experts who will assess for each home whether the Easy-to-move criteria are fulfilled. Helsinki OPKK will also provide its real estate agents with training to become experts in accessible housing.

For more information, please contact:  

Sari Lähde, housing starts expert, Helsinki OP-Kiinteistökeskus, tel. 050 535 0205
OP-Pohjola media contacts: 050 523 9904
Kirsti Pesola, Director, ESKE of the Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities, tel. 050 594 2553

As subsidiaries owned by local OP-Pohjola Group cooperative banks, OP-Kiinteistökeskus real estate agents are engaged in real estate business. With 170 offices, their number totals 57. OP-Kiinteistökeskus real estate agents are part of OP-Pohjola Group.

OP-Pohjola Group is Finland`s leading financial services group providing a unique range of banking, investment and insurance services. The Group`s mission is to promote the prosperity, well-being and security of its owner-members, customers and operating regions through its local presence. Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal customer benefits on the market. OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 200 member cooperative banks and the Group`s central cooperative, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the listed company Pohjola Bank plc.

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The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via GlobeNewswire