Municipalities demand housing help
The organisation that represents municipalities has met with government ministers to discuss a shortage of housing for people who have received residence permits.
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) held talks with Minister for Employment and Integration Ylva Johansson, Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson and Housing Minister Peter Eriksson about a lack of housing available to local councils.
“State aid to municipalities is needed now,” said SALAR’s president Lena Micko. “The local authorities are working intensely to find housing for the newcomers, but it is not enough. The state has the powers needed for quick fixes.”
While the Migration Agency has responsibility for providing accommodation for those who are seeking asylum, it is up to the municipalities to house people who are given residence permits. As more people are receiving decisions, there is a bigger strain on the municipalities.
SALAR’s Per-Arne Andersson called on the Migration Agency to transfer some of its accommodation to the municipalities now that fewer asylums seekers are arriving than last year’s record amount.
However, the Migration Agency said it does not intend to terminate any of its contracts for accommodation. It said apartments are the most cost effective ways of housing people.
It currently has 32,000 apartments, 1,900 of which sit empty.
Around 16,000 people who have received residence permits are still currently in accommodation for asylum seekers, because there are not enough places in municipalities for them to live.