Peter Hultqvist
Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Henrik Montgomery, TT.

Defense Minister received flat from military housing foundation

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist received a Stockholm apartment from a military housing foundation whose own rules state that it will only provide housing to Armed Forces personnel and students at the National Defense University, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports.

Although Hultqvist has political responsibility for Sweden's defense, he is not employed by the military.

Yet, he got an apartment in one of the foundation's properties when he became defense minister in November 2014, after his party the Social Democrats won the national election. 

The news follows a similar story from January where fellow minister and Social Democrat party member Margot Wallström was found to have rented apartment in Stockholm owned by the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union. The deal let Wallström, Sweden's Foreign Minister, bypass a wait of years that ordinary renters must undergo.

Claes Tornberg, chairman of MHS-Bostäder, the housing foundation, would not confirm that Hultqvist was a tenant.

"We have a very strict policy that we, in general, never give out the name of someone living in our apartments," he told the newspaper.

But the information was confirmed when Hultqvist filed an application to give up his right to stay indefinitely at the apartment. The application was filed with Stockholm's rent tribunal and signed by Hultqvist and the foundation's head of a housing association.

Tornberg told Svenska Dagbladet that the foundation has permission from Stockholm County administrative board to rent apartments, if space is available, to government offices and officials. When asked, the board denied this interpretation to the newspaper.

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