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A new scientific article published in Frontiers in political science, analyzes how the Settlement Act is applied in Swedish municipalities. Housing is an important prerequisite for the social and economic integration of refugees. The Settlement Act was implemented in 2016 and stipulates that municipalities are obliged to accept refugees according to quotas.

By analyzing a survey conducted by the Swedish National Council for Housing, Construction and Planning, which contains questions for all 290 municipalities in Sweden, municipal housing policy is defined and related to different cases. The article presents a typology that divides municipalities according to their self-reported housing work based on the Settlement Act. For example, this may include the provision of a permanent housing contract or various forms of temporary housing solutions.

The main variations

Depending on the housing policy implemented in the municipality, municipalities have the possibility to support, adapt or even prevent the long-term settlement of migrants from a refugee the background. There are big differences between municipalities. How they choose to interpret the Act depends on the nature of the municipality, such as whether it is rural or suburban, the situation in the local housing market, the municipality’s previous refugee experience, and the municipality’s political beliefs. happy

“Restrictive refugee policies are not always explained by a lack of resources at the local level, such as a lack of housing. In fact, many municipalities with little affordable housing still offer alternatives to permanent housing, while municipalities with a high proportion of vacant apartments choose to interpret the law restrictively,” says Emma Holmqvist, a cultural geography researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Studies. University of Uppsala.

Although the initial distribution of refugees may be fairer and more even between municipalities since the 2016 Settlement Law, old reception patterns remain and long-term resettlement still proves difficult or even impossible in some municipalities. Overall, the municipalities that received the least number of refugees in relation to their population by 2016 also introduced the most restrictive measures. housing policy.

“There is also a problematic inconsistency in the Swedish admissions system, resulting in permanent housing provided more often in municipalities with a weak labor market. This creates serious difficulties for newly arrived refugees, as a strong and stable position in the labor market is now a requirement for obtaining a permanent residence permit in Sweden,” explains Holmqvist.

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Additional information:
Emma Holmqvist et al., Sustainability of Local Housing Policy? Liberal or restrictive policies in Swedish municipalities after the Great Migration in the summer of 2015. Frontiers in political science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fpos.2022.885892

Citation: Sweden’s municipal housing policy affects refugee intake (2022, July 5) Retrieved July 5, 2022, from

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