At a recent conference hosted by Velferðarvaktin (Welfare Watch), chairman of the Icelandic Renters’ Association Guðmundur Hrafn Arngrímsson claimed rent prices have seen a 150% increase since 2011. The conference focused on low-income groups in the housing market. The Welfare Watch is a government initiative founded in 2009 to estimate the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.
In his talk, Guðmundur claimed that renters in Iceland live with the least housing security in Europe. The current ratio of social housing in Iceland is the lowest in Europe, at just 2%.
According to Guðmundur, short-term rental housing is exacerbating the problem. Approximately 6% of apartments in Iceland are rented out for short-term purposes.
A new model
Among those speakering at the conference were interest groups and government representatives.
Minister of Infrastructure Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson spoke at the conference, asserting the newly signed housing agreement with municipalities. It emphasises the foundation of a new housing system based on the Nordic model.
The reworked policy aims to address social inequality, for example, by increasing social housing by up to 6% of the total housing supply.
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