State-run refugee housing study
To get a better grip on housing for asylum seekers, the government has commissioned a study from the Agency for Public Management.
The study, aimed at lowering the costs for housing refugees, as well as better control over where asylum seekers are placed, will investigate if the state should own all such housing. Currently this has been outsourced to private interests, and local municipalities have complained that they haven’t had enough say in the process.
Swedish Radio News writes that because of commercial secrecy, this information is often only made available at the last minute. For example, Norberg, with around 5000 inhabitants, had only two days’ notice before three facilities for asylum seekers opened. The municipality was then expected to provide schooling and other public services.
The head of the Norberg City Council, Åsa Eriksson, told Swedish Radio’s Studio Ett program:
“It is my absolute conviction that Sweden, and above all Norberg, needs new people and new experiences. If you look at the demographics it would be a disaster without immigration. But it has to be done in a way that is dignified for the people who come here, and it must work for those of us who already live here.”
In 2014 the Migration Board sought housing for around 80,000 asylum seekers, twice the number as in 2012. Migration Minister Morgan Johansson says “The main responsibility for refugee facilities in the future should be taken by the state. I believe that to be the most cost effective, and the easiest approach in regard to the local government sector’s needs to deal with it.”
The study is to be completed by May 31.