“There is a three year waiting time if one is to be considered for a flat or a room through us. This been that those who have been accepted in the summer will never be considered,” explained Chris Österlund, of the Stiftelsen Stockholms Studentbostäder – SSSB, the student housing foundation that owns many of the student apartments in the Stockholm area, to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.
A record number of students have been accepted into Stockholm universities for the autumn semester this year, yet at the same time the student housing situation has never been so dire.
Österlund is now seeking government subsidies for the problem, claiming that there is a need for 20,000 student residences nationwide – 7,000 of which should be in the capital.
“If students can’t be offered any accommodation, they will find themselves somewhere else, maybe overseas. There is already a shortage of highly educated people and the problem will become even more serious,” she said.
However, housing minister Stefan Attefall says that subsidizing the building of new apartments is not necessarily the best answer.
“In the long run there is clearly a risk that work force recruitment will be influenced. It’s definitely serious,” he told SvD, adding that in the short term, uncertain living arrangements lead to poor academic performance.
However, Attefall said that the problem is highly prioritized by the government.
“We’re working flat out on this. But it’s a problem that has built up over 20-30 years. It’s not something a housing minister could solve on a coffee break,” he told the paper.