News
Iceland May Be Facing Housing Crisis

Iceland May Be Facing Housing Crisis

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published February 8, 2018

17,000 apartments will be needed in Iceland by the end of 2019, according to a new report from the Housing Financing Fund (HFF), and parliament is struggling to find answers.

Iceland’s housing market was the subject of intense debate in parliament today, RÚV reports. Björn Leví Gunnarsson, an MP for the Pirate Party, cited HFF’s report, pointing out that 17,000 apartments is roughly equivalent to 42,000 people. In real life terms, he said, “We need to build a new Kópavogur and Akranes to meet the gathering demand,” referring to two of Iceland’s largest municipalities.

Numerous other MPs chimed in on the matter, amongst them Minister of Social Affairs Ásmundur Einar Daðason, who said he believes tackling the housing crisis requires long-term planning to prevent a repeat of the extreme ups and downs Iceland’s housing market has experienced over the past two decades.

Guðjón S. Brjánsson, an MP for the Social Democrats, pointed out that this is not just a matter of Reykjavík, either. On the contrary, in many parts of the countryside, no new housing has been built in the past ten years – a point that Left-Green MP Lilja Rafney Magnúsdóttir seconded.

A large part of the problem appears to be a lack of any clear idea when it comes to responsibility. Bryndís Haraldsdóttir, an MP for the Independence Party, raised the question as to why so many ministries have a hand in influencing the housing market, as opposed to there being simply one ministry devoted solely to housing.

In short, members of parliament seem to be in agreement that Iceland is facing a housing crisis and something needs to be done. What, and how, still remain to be seen.


News
Much Better Voter Turn-Out Expected This Year In Iceland

Much Better Voter Turn-Out Expected This Year In Iceland

by

A higher voter turn-out for this Saturday’s municipal elections than in 2014 is expected, based on the volume of absentee

News
May The Storms Be With You: More Weather Alerts Issued In Iceland

May The Storms Be With You: More Weather Alerts Issued In Iceland

by

An alert has been issued today for the area of Faxaflói Bay, Breiðarfjörður and the south coast of Iceland due

News
American Couple Dies During Fishing Trip In Iceland

American Couple Dies During Fishing Trip In Iceland

by

An American couple died in Iceland yesterday after an accident occurred on Sunday at Lake Þingvallavatn in Þingvellir National Park,

News
Immigration Contradicting Itself, Breaking UN Guidelines In Trans Refugee Case

Immigration Contradicting Itself, Breaking UN Guidelines In Trans Refugee Case

by

The Directorate of Immigration (UTL) is contradicting its own policies, and appears to be breaking United Nations guidelines, when it

News
Island Life: Village Nets 100m ISK Surplus, Reykjadalur Opens & The Return Of The Tern

Island Life: Village Nets 100m ISK Surplus, Reykjadalur Opens & The Return Of The Tern

by

The tiny East Iceland village of Vopnafjörður made headlines when their bookkeeping brought to light that they have a surplus

News
Far-Right Islamophobe Cancels Trip To Iceland

Far-Right Islamophobe Cancels Trip To Iceland

by

English Defence League co-founder Tommy Robinson, who was scheduled to give a lecture today in Iceland, will not be coming

Show Me More!