The shortage of housing is widespread throughout the country and a major societal problem that affects economically weak and otherwise vulnerable groups extra hard. Students and doctoral students are a group that is greatly affected by the lack of housing, which has a negative impact on both health and the ability to cope with their studies. The lack of housing also makes many people hesitate to study in a certain place. This contributes to increased skewed recruitment to the country's educations.
Students are one of the groups that are hit very hard in a situation where there is a housing shortage because students generally have a strained finances and often have to move to new places to study. Many students are young and have thus not had the opportunity to stand in a housing queue for a long time. In a situation of housing shortage, it is therefore important that there are homes that are earmarked for students, where students are allowed to live throughout their studies. However, SFS believes that the category housing “student housing” should be abolished in the long term, as the needs of the student population vary just as with the general population. The legal form of student housing, on the other hand, fulfills a very important function as long as there is a housing shortage.
SFS believes that the state, the regions and the municipalities should have a joint responsibility for housing supply in Sweden. The higher education institutions must be responsible for having a good dialogue with municipalities and regions about how the size of the student group is expected to develop, and for working to ensure that the municipality provides students with housing. The higher education institutions also have a responsibility to inform about the housing situation in the place they are in and to ensure that the information conveys a true picture of the situation to the students.
SFS urges housing companies to provide housing with different types of contracts, such as friends' housing, duplicates and collective housing. Few students can afford to buy a home. Therefore, it is important that all conversions of municipal tenancies to condominiums are stopped as it reduces the availability of tenancies for students to rent.
To make it easier for students to live, SFS proposes, among other things, that:
- each municipality has a common housing queue that allows the existence of different types of contract forms with special rules, e.g. for students with children.
- student rent does not exceed 35% of a student's income in the form of study grants and any housing allowance.
- housing allowance is increasingly made available to students.
- municipalities or geographical regions provide subletting, so that subletting can take place safely.
- students who do VFU (work-based education) receive compensation for high housing costs for compulsory education elements in another location.
- housing is provided especially for international students.
- new homes are built with the help of public incentives, e.g. investment support, linked to lower rents requirements.
- that regulations and requirements for the construction of housing are reviewed, without, for that matter, lowering the quality of life in these homes.
- the municipal public utility takes its social responsibility for the housing supply.
- taxation of housing becomes neutral to the form of lease so that the tenancy is not taxed more severely than the tenancy.
- review the planning process so that the time between decisions and the shovel is put in the ground is shorter.
- implementation times for construction are shortened.
- possibly review temporary building permits to solve the most acute housing shortage.