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Rental shortage in large parts of Sweden

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12:59 CEST+02:00
Demand for rental apartments has continued to outstrip supply in large parts of Sweden, according to a new report.

Four out of 10 municipalities report a housing shortage, slightly fewer than in previous years.

But the report shows Sweden to be divided between town and country: the shortages are focused on metropolitan areas and in major university towns with growing populations, while many smaller communities with declining populations have problems with a housing surplus.

According to local assessments, the housing shortage primarily affects young people, the elderly and large families.

"It is both about getting apartments for young people and having apartments that are appropriate for the needs of older people," said Christina Johannesson, project manager at Boverket.

While many areas have adopted guidelines to ensure the most needy get housed, many communities still do not meet their statutory obligations to provide housing for young and old people:

"It is important that municipalities take responsibility and have a strategic plan on how to secure housing for young and old, " said Johannesson.

The sale of public housing to tenants has declined from nearly 18,000 apartments in 2008 to around 14,400 in 2009. The greater Stockholm region accounted for the majority of sales.

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