From Iceland — Subsidies Not Keeping Up With Rent Costs

Subsidies Not Keeping Up With Rent Costs

Published March 19, 2013

Over the past five years the cost of renting in Reykjavík has increased by 54%, while rental subsidies distributed to those eligible have barely changed, RÚV reports.
While the housing benefits distributed by the Ministry of Welfare to those earning below a certain milestone monthly did increase by 1,700 ISK per month at the beginning of this year and will increase by another 2,300 ISK on 1 July, these increases fail to keep up with the impact of inflation on the housing market. An apartment that cost 100,000 ISK monthly in 2008 today costs 153,900 ISK.
RÚV uses the example of a single parent with two children to illustrate the scope of the problem. If the single parent is renting an apartment for 150,000 ISK per month they are on average receiving 27,500 ISK monthly in rent subsidies. This subsidy decreases, however, once the parent’s annual earnings exceed 2,550,000 ISK for the year.
As for housing provided to low wage families, there is a significant shortage of such accommodation, with 782 individuals or families currently on the waiting list.

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