Stockholm rent controls favour the wealthy: report

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Stockholm rent controls favour the wealthy: report

Stockholm's rent controls benefit wealthy residents in the city centre and do nothing to fight economic segregation with those living in the suburbs, according to a new report from the Swedish Property Federation (Fastighetsägarna Stockholm).

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"Rent control is a shield for well-established insiders who already have a home. Not for those households that it was meant to shield," Christer Jansson, the CEO of the federation, wrote in an opinion article published in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper on Friday.

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According to Jansson, rent control works as a protection for those already living at sought-after addresses and that residents who have first-hand rental contracts in desirable neighbourhoods near the city centre have higher incomes.

"One of the strongest arguments made by those protecting the current rent control system is that it works against economic segregation and makes it possible for the economically weak households to live in attractive areas in the centre of the city," he said in a statement.

"Our report shows that this is not the case."

The report measured the median income around the city by suburb, as well as the percentage of the population in each area receiving some kind of public benefits.

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In Norrmalm, central Stockholm, the annual average disposable income per family was found to be 67 percent higher that that in Rinkeby/Kista in the northern reaches of the city. Norrmalm has just 1 percent of its residents receiving support, compared to 18 percent in Rinkeby/Kista.

Income was found to be 25 percent higher on the island of Södermalm than in Farsta, with just 3 percent of Södermalm residents reliant on support compared to 8 percent.

Jansson argued that the rental market in Stockholm suffers from a range of problems including low production levels for new homes, housing queues that are decades long, and a demoralizing black market.

TT/The Local/og

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