It experienced a boom period in the 1980s and a subsequent slowdown in the 1990s following a collapse in Soviet trade and recession in Western Europe.

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The number of people registered as homeless in Dublin has also risen and is now close to 6,000.

These are arguably crude comparisons and, of course, the Finnish model is not perfect; homelessness has not disappeared and the issue of the long-term homeless is still a problem.

Today, home ownership is down and rental is up, notwithstanding the problems in the latter market.

No policy model is 100pc perfect and whichever one we adopt won't be cheap to introduce.

But there is plenty of evidence from many countries that it is more cost-effective to end homelessness, rather than just trying to manage it.

It may be some time before there are opportunities for selfies in hard hats and high-viz jackets - but that's not the priority.

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And while that is little succour for those unfortunate to be caught up in it, the reality is that we are not alone.

A new report from the Housing Europe Observatory, the research arm of Housing Europe, has revealed that in the two years since its previous report, housing markets across the European Union have started to speed up again. But the report does include one particularly interesting nugget - Finland is the only country in the EU which has managed to reverse the trend of growing homelessness. The Nordic countries are often singled out for getting it right across a range of policies including childcare and transport.

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