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Election Q&A: How do you want to fix Sweden's housing crisis?

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Election Q&A: How do you want to fix Sweden's housing crisis?
How do politicians want to make it easier for people to find a place to live? Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
08:25 CEST+02:00
The Local asked Sweden's eight parties to answer a number of questions relevant to internationals living and working in Sweden.

It is often difficult for internationals to navigate the Swedish housing market, with no network in Sweden and without having spent years in the housing queue. What does your party want to do to fix the housing crisis?

Click here to read more questions and answers that matter to YOU.

The Social Democrat Party

"The Social Democrat-led government has taken housing policies very seriously in its first term of office. We have implemented several reforms aimed at increasing construction. Among other things: support for building rental homes (hyresrätter), building bonuses for municipalities that take responsibility for the housing stock, and incentives for refurbishment and renovation."

"We have also implemented simplified regulations, which makes it easier to build, and we want a standardization of serial construction. This has led to a record pace of construction which our country has not had in the past 25 years. But that is not enough, the need for housing increases further amid a rapidly growing population. It impedes growth throughout the country, not least in the big cities. There is only one solution to this problem: build more! It should be possible to live both in cities and in rural areas, but also to move for studies or work."


The Social Democrats are Sweden's biggest party and part of the centre-left coalition government. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Moderate Party 

"There is a significant housing shortage in Sweden. The housing market needs fundamental reforms – and that's why we want a bipartisan agreement that takes a holistic approach to the housing market's problems. Above all, we need less regulatory hassle and more efficient processes than today, so that more homes can be built both faster and cheaper than today."


The Moderates are Sweden's second-biggest party and part of the right-wing bloc. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The Sweden Democrat Party

"The shortcomings of the housing market, which grew in the wake of the extensive asylum immigration to Sweden, are a major problem. It hits those living in Sweden temporarily or who do not have a network in Sweden particularly hard. We want to stimulate housing construction by, among other things, simplified regulations and balanced environmental requirements."


The Sweden Democrats are Sweden's third biggest party and run on an anti-immigration platform. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Green Party 

"Finding a decent place to live is too hard in Sweden, especially in the larger urban areas that are rapidly growing. Due to poor housing policies in the past couple of decades, there has been a gradual build-up of a national housing shortage: 93 percent of all municipalities in Sweden reported in 2018 that they had a housing shortage. To add to the problem, there has been a mismatch between what developers have built, primarily condominiums for the higher price segment, and what people can afford and want, primarily more affordable rental apartments."

"The Green Party sees this issue as a serious problem and we have implemented strong measures to rectify the situation. In 2017, over 64,000 new flats and houses were being built. That is a record high number – building rates not seen since the heyday of the million housing programme in the 1960s.  The government has launched a state investment scheme that supports developers to build rental apartments and student flats. The Green Party has made it a goal that 450,000 new flats and houses should be built until 2025. We have also as a goal that half of apartment houses should be built with wooden support structures. Another proposal we have is to make it easier for friends to co-sign mortgage loan applications."


The Green Party is part of Sweden's centre-left coalition government. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The Centre Party

"The Swedish housing market isn't working the way it should be. A big problem is the lack of flexibility. Many people who both want and need to move, don't. Partly because of high moving taxes. This is why taxes need to be reduced. At the same time, more housing is needed, and that requires that the construction rules are simplified. There are a bunch of rules that obstruct construction, such as noise, beach protection and state interests. Doing something about that would reduce construction costs and increase the access to buildable and commercially viable land in all of Sweden."

"We also want to implement more flexible rents in new constructions which will make it more profitable to build rentals. As soon as possible after the election, we want to reach a broad cross-party agreement on the housing issue so that we can make reforms and create long-term and reliable rules for the housing market.


The Centre Party is part of the centre-right bloc in parliament. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The Left Party

"The Left Party wants to increase construction in Sweden, mainly of cheap rental homes (hyresrätter). We want to revamp the million programme and, through supporting investment, make sure that construction increases. We also want to introduce a rental model that reduces rents for newly-built apartments and redesign the mortgage market to considerably lower interest rates for those borrowing money to purchase apartments [Swedish: bostadsrätt, ed.]."


The Left Party is part of the left-wing bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Liberal Party

"The Swedish housing market is characterized by a lack of housing and an undersized market. It is much more expensive to build homes in Sweden than in our neighbouring countries and difficult to enter the housing market. It shows that the system is not working. We want to open the housing market, simplify the rules and increase competition. Then, there will be room for more and more houses to be built."


The Liberals are part of the centre-right bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Christian Democrat Party

"There are large groups of people who find it hard to enter the housing market, while the movement on the housing market is weak because of taxes. Many people are referred to a housing situation that doesn't suit them. This problem has grown with the government's introduction of credit restrictions. These need to be removed. To increase movement on the housing market, we want to remove the stricter rules on mortgages and the cap on the postponement on capital gains. It should be possible to postpone the resulting interest rate as long as you remain an owner on the housing market. More land also needs to be made accessible in order to construct more, and social housing policies must make housing allowances a key part."


The Christian Democrats are part of the right-wing bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

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