Housing matters

Housing security, whether it is residency in rental housing or private property, is a human right. The government is to ensure housing security for all with a supply of housing at an affordable price, housing support and economic measures that reduce unnatural increase in housing prices.

The most reasonable way to increase housing security for Icelanders is to pay down housing debts for lower income groups and those with onerous support burdens. The experience has shown that the focus on increased loan grants has the effect of raising housing prices and makes the acquisition of housing even more difficult for those who have the lowest amount of resources. Such measures have direct effect on the economic system with increased inflation and instability.

The general apartment system has proved its worth and the number of apartments in the system has increased every year. Bjarg, BSRB’s leasing company, and ASÍ are the backbone of this system, promoting housing security for wage earners in lower income brackets. BSRB strongly emphasises that annual capital contributions from the State and the municipalities be increased in order to accelerate the development of the system and to meet the urgent need of wage earners for housing at an affordable price.

BSRB places importance on the State and the municipalities paving the path for leasing company Blævar, owned by BSRB and ASÍ. It is important to increase the options in the housing market for wage earners that are above the income threshold in the general apartment system and thus promote housing security for all.

Direct housing support from the government has undergone a fundamental change with authority to use tax-free private pension savings to pay down mortgage loans. Analysis shows that the support is first and foremost useful for people in the highest income brackets. At the same time, the housing support for lessees has deteriorated in real terms and financial contribution to interest tax is negligible. BSRB demands that the housing support system be changed in a way that the support is directed toward lower income homes.

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