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Sweden to probe housing discrimination

TT/The Local · 15 Oct 2009, 10:12

Published: 15 Oct 2009 10:12 GMT+02:00

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“The right to housing is a fundamental principle in Sweden. Studies and surveys show that there is discrimination in the Swedish housing market. However, we don’t know how extensive and widespread the problem is,” integration and equality minister Nyamko Sabuni said in a statement.

The investigation will cover all types of discrimination, and will likely be carried out with assistance from various colleges and universities.

Through the study, the ombudsman will attempt to measure both the frequency and the scope of discrimination.

According to the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality, the study's results will allow for comparisons between different regions within Sweden, as well as between different types of housing.

“Our mandate to the Equality Ombudsman is to provide more information about the problem of discrimination in the housing market,” said Sabuni.

“From there we can further identify what sort of measures need to be taken.”

Speaking to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Sabuni said carrying out the study lets Sweden's landlords know that authorities have their eyes on them,

The government decided to move ahead with the study on Thursday, agreeing to devote 1.1 million kronor ($160,000) to the effort.

Story continues below…

The goal is to have the study completed by August 2010.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:51 October 15, 2009 by glamshek
This is quite expected from the respected Swedish government to conduct an investigation into such a violation. Swede Landlords should have some respect for the immigrants in particular and other people in general. On the other hand the immigrants should also have some respect for the Swedish rules, regulations and 'culture'.
12:07 October 15, 2009 by Osokin
Tennants will be chosen in bidding wars, to avoid discrimination : highest payer gets the flat.
12:25 October 15, 2009 by Thebinary1
That is the capitalistic way after all.
13:15 October 15, 2009 by Beynch

Emphasis on your last senetnce. It is unlikely that any swede objects to skin color, religion , ethnicity or national origin in this, perceived, discrimination. It is almost always behavior.
13:59 October 15, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Maybe if they look at how the housing market works in the cities they will see that their beloved Socia.list housing solution disc.riminates against everyone who does not grow up in that city.
15:45 October 15, 2009 by stuscotland
I have seen many people advertising flats, who ask for a picture if you are applying! What difference does it make on my funkin skin colour ?

Racism is rife in Sweden .
17:30 October 15, 2009 by "green Swede"
BEYNCH,very well put,I think you hit the nail on the head.
18:28 October 15, 2009 by maxbrando
Ah yes, this must be the only time a Swede will actually tell you to stick it up your ass.
20:38 October 15, 2009 by voiceofreason
I changed apartments 5 times in a year because no one was willing to give me a long term contract. For a long time I pretended my skin color was not a factor but I am just fooling myself.

I have seen people tell me they are not at home when they see me from their window coming to inspect an apartment for rent.

I don't know what to call it, but I don't care anyway. Discrimination is human nature. We have to live with it.
09:30 October 16, 2009 by Nemesis
It is not just skin colour in Sweden. I think where a person is from, is also a major factor.

I got fed up trying to rent so just purchased an apartment, when moving here. It was less hassle, than trying to rent.

If you are not from Scandinavia, it can be a problem, not just colour. I have noticed it a lot. I am Ulster-Scots and whiter than everyone I have met so far in Sweden. I have not met a Swede yet, who is as white as me. I have met Swedes who due to heavy tan, I thought were from the Middle East.

I do find the racism in Sweden very contradictory. Every racist I have met so far has a dark tan. I think they are screwed up.

If moving to Sweden I would recommend just purchasing a house or apartment, instead of renting. If living in rental accomodation, you can be living beside any sort of lunatic. Landlods who rent to immigrants tend to have all sorts of people in there properties. At least if all the property is privately owned, the neighbours tend to be better, although there are exceptions.

A suggestion to those of you who are having problems and can´t find rental accomodation. Check with local student unions for lists of landlords, advertisements on the noticeboards in ICA, COOP, local shops and bar staff in english speaking bars. That is usually the best places in my experience for immigrants.
04:53 November 22, 2009 by xykat
I can attest to the "racism" in the housing market.

I'm an American with dark hair, hazel eyes and light skin. I can pass as French or Italian maybe but not Scandinavian.

Some years ago I wanted to buy an old farm house for 400,000 kronor in Rimbo. The property was owned by the Swedish forest company. The property needed a lot of renovation but I still thought it was a great deal. I shook the guys hand and said I would take it. He said he would bring me the papers the next day. Handlsbanken was going to approve the loan. Great bank! At the time I had a permanent job working in the Swedish Telecom sector making a good salary by Swedish standards.

The next day they came back to me and asked me if I was allowed to buy land in Sweden then he said that the Swedish forest company decided to sell it to someone else. They never gave me a chance to overbid the other person or anything. At that point I gave up but was very upset about the whole experience.

Then I saw it relisted for a few 100 thousand more. Great!

Not nice! There should be Swedish laws against this sort of thing.
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