• Sweden's news in English

Asylum seekers face housing shortage

25 Aug 2006, 11:53

Published: 25 Aug 2006 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Asylum seekers who who were originally denied the right to stay in Sweden, but who ended up staying thanks to the amnesty, needed to be found somewhere to live. Many municipalities have refused to take them in.

“We didn’t know what to do with them,” said Sven-Ove Johansson, an expert on new arrivals with the Swedish Integration Board to The Local on Friday.

Lawmakers gave many of them permits, but the government has had a tough time finding them housing.

The Integration Board said nearly a third of all Swedish municipalities have yet to agree to take in the foreigners, while some 50 have just flat out said no.

“It is a complicated system,” Johansson said. “The municipalities can say no to us, but they can’t say no to an asylum seeker who shows up in their municipality and says, ‘Here I am.’”

When asked if the Integration Board supported foreigners to go and find their own housing in Sweden, Johansson said it was good for immigrants to find lodgings on their own initiative.”

“We are not encouraging them, but we are not discouraging them,” he said, adding that it is against the law for municipalities to turn people away.

He said Sweden has already given permits to 15,300 refugees this year who have found housing around the country.

“Today there are 2,000-3,000 foreigners with permits who have not arrived in a municipality with housing,” Johansson said. “There are still another 15,000 waiting in Sweden in housing scattered around the country who are expected to receive a permit this year and need a municipality to give them a place to stay. It is more or less amnesty.”

He said if an asylum seeker is denied the right to remain but stays anyway, Sweden will eventually give him a permit rather than sending him back to a country where he might not be wanted.

“Their own countries, like Iran and Somalia, don’t want them back, so here they are sitting in Sweden,” Johansson said. “Only about 20 percent have their applications accepted, but those who are denied because they have bad cases will probably get a permit if they don’t want to leave.”

Staffanstorp municipality, in southern Sweden, doesn’t have an agreement with the Swedish Migration Board this year, but the Board wants the authority to take in another 70 foreigners.

Staffanstorp said no, just as some 50 others have.

“There isn’t even one house in the municipality and we already have long housing lines,” said Ingalill Hellberg, director of Staffanstorp, according to Dagens Nyheter. “That is why we said no.”

Story continues below…

Johansson said the municipalities don’t have a choice if a person wants to live there, adding that the Integration Board pays municipalities 165,000 kronor for each adult they take in.

He said studies in the past showed that the money given to the municipality is about 10 percent to 15 percent lower than what the local government needs to provide housing and education to the asylum seekers.

“It depends on how efficient a municipality is whether the fee we give them covers costs,” Johansson said.

He said Sweden should be able to find homes for all but about 3,000 of those now waiting. He said it would be up to politicians to figure out what they will do next year.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available