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Reykjavík City Council Acts on Housing

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Reykjavík City Council Acts on Housing

Reykjavík

Photo: City of Reykjavík.

Reykjavík City Council has approved eight proposals made by the governing majority to address housing issues. RÚV reported first. A proposal from the Socialist Party to investigate the needs and wants of individuals facing housing problems was also approved. Most proposals from opposition parties were referred to the city’s Department of Welfare and Finance Bureau for further consideration.

The proposals were part of the governing majority’s action plan on housing issues, most focusing on homeless individuals. Among the approved proposals are providing five plots for the building of up to 25 mini homes in the year 2018, improving services in collaboration with the federal government on health care for homeless people, and insuring the welfare department complete the writing of proposals on continued housing development for people considered homeless.

Another approved proposal is to negotiate with the Minister of Housing in requiring all municipalities to provide a certain amount of social housing in proportion to their population. According to the council, this change would better distribute the cost of resources that the City of Reykjavík now largely shoulders.

Þórdís Lóa Þórhallsdóttir, chairperson of the Council’s Executive Committee, said Reykjavík has never in its history had more apartments under construction than it does now. “Nowhere in Iceland are contributions to housing issues higher than in Reykjavík,” Þórdís Lóa stated, adding that from 2018 to 2022, contributions to housing are expected to total ISK 70 billion ($663m/€567m), of which ISK 14.2 billion ($134m/€115m) will be invested this year. “If all municipalities in the capital area had the same proportion of social housing as Reykjavík there would be no waiting list for social housing.”

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