Sweden: Migrants given housing ahead of other vulnerable groups

A new report, seen by Swedish broadcaster SVT, claims that priority housing is being given to migrants meaning that vulnerable groups such as young people, care leavers and those leaving treatment facilities are going without the housing they urgently need.

60% of Swedish municipalities say they have experienced difficulty in housing priority cases due to the ‘displacing effect’ of the right to housing for asylum seekers.

Things are set to get worse next year. According to Sweden’s municipalities and county councils (SKL), close to 100,000 people who have been given a residency permit may be eligible for housing next year.

“As a consequence, others who need housing go without. We are not obliged to supply housing for them,” says Thed Carlsson, Head of Social Services in Hässleholm.

Housing Minister, Peter Eriksson, tried to shift the blame onto local authorities, saying that is their fault for not building enough houses.

“The housing shortage cannot be solved with a quick fix. It will take time to resolve the shortage that has been building up for 20 years,” he said.

Inviting in large numbers of people each year without a plan for where they’re going to live, what they’re going to do and who is going to pay for it was never going to work. Vulnerable people already in these societies are the ones who suffer.