Sweden - Housing



Nearly all of Sweden's housing stock was modernised during a mass housing improvement program in the 1980s. Most houses are built by private contractors, but more than half of new housing is designed, planned, and financed by nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. NPOs and cooperatives provide dwellings for members who are designated as tenant-owners of their dwellings. In 1998, there were 4.3 million dwellings nationwide. Of these, about 2.3 million were multi-family dwellings and the remainder were one- or two-family homes. In 1998, about 20% of all dwellings were tenant-owned, 40% were rental units, and 20% were owner occupied. There were about 4.2 million households that year, with an average of 2.1 people per household. In 1999, 15,000 new dwellings were started.

The government subsidizes new construction and reconditioning, helps various groups to obtain better housing, and extends credit at interest rates lower than those obtainable in the open market. A system of rent controls, introduced in 1942 and designed to freeze rents at the existing rate, was abolished in 1975. It has been replaced by a policy known as a utility-value provision, through which the rent of a flat may not be higher than that of a similar flat in the same area which is of the same general value to the occupant. Many tenant organizations negotiate rental agreements with landlords and rent increases can be reviewed by a tribunal. The National Board of Housing, Building, and Planning estimates that 250,000 new dwellings will be built from 2000–2010. About 30,000 dwellings per year will be renovated/rebuilt during the same period.

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