From Iceland — Government Unveils Plans For Grindavík

Government Unveils Plans For Grindavík

Published January 22, 2024

Photo by
Axel Sigurðarson

The government presented its plan this afternoon for addressing the situation in Grindavík. Months of seismic activity and volcanic eruptions in the area have kept the 3,700 residents of the small town on the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula out of their homes since being evacuated on November 10, 2023.

A cross-political committee led by Finance Minister Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir will be appointed to achieve the government’s goals.

The top priority identified by the government today is to secure long-term housing for the displaced residents of Grindavík. The government is looking into allowing Grindavík homeowners to transfer the capital in their homes into purchasing new property outside of the town. The state also said they will be building new housing and create conditions that will prioritise Grindavík residents.

Those who do not wish to sell their homes may see the government freeze mortgage payments on their homes while they remain uninhabitable.

In terms of aiding those who still wish to remove their belongings from the beleaguered town, the government is looking into working with transportation firms to assist those who need it. Talks are also taking place with storage facilities to free up space for Grindavík residents needing space to keep their belongings.

Among the other initiatives the state has sent to committee for research pertain to helping unemployed Grindavíkingur with wages and pension payments, and extending rent support to 90%, as opposed to the 75% in effect.

The government aims to have a bill ready to be submitted by early February.

Follow the Grapevine’s ongoing coverage of the situation in Grindavík here.

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