Sweden’s worst in the North when it comes to student housing. The lines are longer and the chance of getting a student apartment is lower in Sweden than in the neighboring countries. This according to Stiftelsen Stockholms studentbostäder, which conducted the comparison. In Stockholm you have to wait at least two years after signing up for a student apartment or room, but also in Uppsala, Lund, and Göteborg and many other cities it takes a long time to get student housing – oftentimes longer than in the other Scandinavian countries.

“That it looks like this makes it very frustrating,” says Chris Österlund, managing director of Stiftelsen Stockholms studentbostäder, SSSB. “It also means that Stockholm and Sweden lose a lot of its competitive edge, which is quite sad.” Stiftelsen Stockholms studentbostäder has compared the conditions for the building of student housing in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland and in all countries bar Sweden there are various types of financial support for building, either through direct financial aids, or through favorable loans. Up until 2008 there was a governmental investment support also in Sweden, and Österlund believes something like that would be needed to commence building again. “In the end we have to get the economy going in order to put together a project and what’s happening now is that nothing or very little is being built,” she says. Minister for Public Administration and Housing, Stefan Attefall, agrees that too little housing for students is being built in Sweden and points out that the lack of housing gets worse because of the general lack of housing.


“We have acute problems,” he says. “Especially in our bigger cities and in the university towns. Boverket (The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning) recently presented their assignment, which was to overlook the regulations that affect the building of student housing. Boverket will suggest several changes, and Attefall believes these will make the building process both cheaper and faster. “Appeals and permission to build take time, and it is up to us to try to trim the managing of it, but we try as hard as we can to skip several step in the process.” New investment support is not going to happen, according to Attefall. However, he expects to be able to decide on a new legislation during next spring, 2014. “I’d rather put my energy on simplifying the regulations so that we can build cheaper than to implement a support that too easily may end up in the pockets of the developers.” Chris Österlund at SSSB welcomes this new investigation, but would particularly see it lead to concrete changes. “There’s been a lot of investigating and that’s important, but it is also important that we get to work, and we haven’t seen much work.”