Refugees adapt better when they decide where to live

Refugees who choose where they want to live are able to adapt to Swedish society more quickly than those who are assigned housing by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), a new study finds.

A study presented on Thursday by the National Board of Housing, Building, and Planning (Boverket) shows that those who chose their own place of residence were able to secure employment faster and purchase their own apartments sooner than others, Sveriges Radio reports.

Refugees have had the right to choose where they want live in Sweden since 1994, but that right has been opposed by many.

Critics argue that it leads to segregation and cramped living conditions because refugees end up moving in with friends and relatives.

The result, argue critics, is delayed integration into Swedish society.

But the findings of the housing board’s study show that just the opposite is true.

“They clearly have friends and acquaintances to fall back on when they seek asylum here in Sweden. They have, quite simply, a social network which they use through living there and that helps them even after they’ve applied for asylum,” said Malmö University lecturer Pieter Bevelander to Sveriges Radio.

Properties in Sweden