Sweden to probe housing discrimination

Sweden’s Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – DO) plans to launch a nationwide investigation into discrimination in Sweden’s housing market.

“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.

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

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