Temporary housing.
Temporary housing. Credit: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Lack of housing affects integration

2:08 min

Difficulties in finding housing are affecting the integration of refugees, according to a new report based on a survey of Sweden's municipalities and regions.

Since the spring of 2016 all municipalities are required to share responsibility for people who have been granted asylum in Sweden. They shall help them integrate and get established in Sweden by offering them housing, Swedish lessons and help to get a job.

But according to a new report, put together by Sweden's county administrations, the municipalities are only partly acting within the spirit of the law. Too much of the newly arrived person's focus end up being on trying to find somewhere to stay, as many municipalities only offer temporary housing solutions. People may be evicted from this after the initial two year period with state grants expire.

The report shows that it has become more common for municipalities to offer only temporary housing, now one in five offer only this. In the big cities, it is even more common, with seven out of ten municipalities in Stockholm county only offering temporary solutions.

Many of the municipalities are aware of the problems this causes. Asked if they think that the housing solutions they offer give the refugees good conditions for integration and for establishing themselves here, less than half of the municipalities agree. In Stockholm country, only three out of ten municipalities agree, and in Skåne in southern Sweden, even fewer than that.

It is a lack of housing that is given as the main reason for the difficulties in finding long-term solutions. The report notes that, more sustainable housing solutions would require a more active and long-term efforts to come to terms with the problems.

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