Evidence from a Comparison of Four Nordic Countries
The purpose of this article is to uncover, whether housing policy has a special importance for immigrants, compared with the whole population, by comparing housing policies and immigrants’ housing outcomes in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. There are substantial differences between housing policies and housing outcomes in Nordic countries, despite their common background as welfare states. The study shows that immigrants have very different positions on the housing markets in the countries and that the degree of overcrowding among immigrants compared with the whole population varies much. These differences can only to some extent be explained by income inequalities on the housing markets in the countries, inequalities that affect immigrants. Other important explanations of why immigrants perform worse on the housing market is the shortage of rental housing (Norway), which increases the room for discrimination and forces immigrants into overcrowded owner-occupied housing, and also rent and price control that makes room for discrimination and reduces immigrants’ access to private renting in particular (Denmark). Housing policy initiatives that improve immigrants’ housing options are strict needs test for social/public housing (Finland).
International Journal of Housing Policy, 2013, Vol 13, Issue 1, p. 17-36