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Increase in refugees moving into municipal housing

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The municipalities had slightly more dwellings at their disposal in 2016, and there was an increase in the number of refugees who moved into these. There was also a large decrease in the number of households living in temporary housing for more than 3 months.

Norway had in excess of 108 800 municipal dwellings in 2016, which is an increase of almost 1600 from 2015. Figure 1 shows that the distribution of municipal housing has remained relatively stable over a 7-year period for three different forms of ownership.

Figure 1. Development ownership in municipal housing

Number of housing Owned by the municipalities Rented by the municipalities Privately owned housing
2009 100333 86619 4612 9102
2010 100918 87211 4672 9035
2011 101670 82955 8907 9808
2012 103164 81826 10755 10583
2013 105144 83139 10989 11016
2014 105567 82749 11969 10849
2015 107256 82416 13012 11828
2016 108833 81655 15471 11707

More refugees moved into municipal housing

In 2015, when the municipalities experienced an increase in the total number of municipal dwellings, there was a corresponding increase in the number of applicants applying for public housing for the first time. In contrast to the year before, the number of applicants applying for municipal housing for the first time fell by more than 5 per cent in 2016.  

There was also a decrease of more than 38 per cent in the number of households living in temporary housing for more than 3 months from 2015 to 2016. 

Out of almost 14 500 newly settled households, more than 30 per cent were refugees in 2016. This constitutes almost 5 percentage points more of the total number of newly settled households than the year before.  

Less wheelchair accessible housing

More than 31 per cent of the newly settled households moving into municipal dwellings in 2016 needed wheelchair accessible housing, which is 3 percentage points less than in 2015.

Almost 7 per cent of the newly settled households were given municipal housing in 2016 because of substance abuse problems. More than 5 per cent of the newly settled households also had someone with a mental illness and/or substance abuse problems.  

In total, the group with a mental illness and/or substance abuse problems was just below 21 per cent in 2016.

Disparities in the Oslo districts

The number of municipal dwellings in Oslo has remained relatively stable over the last three years, with between approximately 12 400 and 12 800.

Three districts in Oslo manage more than 46 per cent of all municipal dwellings in Oslo: Gamle Oslo, Grünerløkka and Sagene. More than 41 per cent of those applying for municipal housing in Oslo also came from these three districts.

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