Housing bills introduced
Independent MP Sonja Jógvansdóttir and Sjálvstýri (the Self-Government Party) MPs have introduced two separate housing bills.
The bills request authorisation for local councils to provide, administer and rent out properties, either independently, together with other local councils or in collaboration with private businesses and public institutions.
Different proposals, same objective
Sonja Jógvansdóttir’s bill proposes that local councils be granted authorisation to set up their own housing associations. This is also proposed in Sjálvstýri’s bill but not as a compulsory demand.
The two bills have general similarities but differ in some key provisions and also in the emphasis on the demands placed on local councils and their collaborations.
One major difference is that Jógvansdóttir’s bill contains a provision stating that Almannaverkið (the social services) is granted the right of assignment for at least one in five rental properties. This demand can be dispensed with in cases where the local council uses a property for social purposes or for specific target groups. This provision is not mentioned in the Sjálvstýri bill.
Sjálvstýri’s bill demands that local councils draw up clear rules on pricing and allocation of properties prior to any contracts being signed, and that building projects are not initiated unless there is a clear demand for them. In addition, this bill seeks to ensure that rental costs correspond with the investment and maintenance costs, and that the local councils are responsible for all maintenance of a property.
Both proposals state that a local council is entitled to sell a property after it has reached a certain age and if it has not been possible to rent it out for a specified period.
Sjálvstýri’s bill stipulates that the minister is responsible for supervising the local councils in this regard, while Jógvansdóttir’s bill proposes that the minister specifies rules and regulations for housing associations.
According to the proposers, the bills were introduced due to the great shortage of housing, and since Bústaðir (the National Housing Association) cannot single-handedly meet the demand, local councils should be allowed to build new homes.
Translated by prosa.fo