An old house in Norberg hired by the Migration Board. Photo: Patrik Åström/Sveriges Radio.

Small areas may avoid too many asylum seekers

A loophole may allow the Migration Board to make sure fewer asylum seekers end up in small municipalities with overstretched resources.

By upping the standards demanded for asylum housing the Board could make sure that they only place hopeful refugees in areas with better infrastructure.

Up to now the Board has interpreted the public procurement rules to mean asylum seekers have to be placed in the cheapest housing – for example in private homes in small towns.

The tiny area of Poprjus in the far north, with a population of 350, was forced to accept 100 asylum seekers, without being able to affect the decision, because it was the location of empty cheap properties.

But the Swedish Competition Authority says it is actually possible to demand higher standards. These could include access to a nearby school, nursery, or other local services, says Björn Bergström at the agency to Swedish Radio News. He says this would be a win-win solution.

Previously the Migration Board has stated the situation is so bad it is considering challenging the rules and refusing to send asylum seekers to areas that already have a high number.

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