Use of municipal dwellings
Municipal dwellings are the foundation of the municipal social housing work. The municipalities reported to KOSTRA that in 2016 they had a total of 109,000 dwellings. However, there are no reliable figures on how many of these dwellings that are care dwellings, how many are dwellings for people with socially and/or financially disadvantages and how many are allocated without means testing, such as dwellings for employees in the municipality. Findings from this survey will be used as a basis for examine the possibility of reporting type of dwelling in KOSTRA. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernization (KMD) has financed the survey on the use of municipal housing to find out more about what municipal dwellings are used for.
The survey was conducted by the municipalities filling out a short questionnaire on the Internet. All municipalities in the country were invited to participate via Altinn. In total, 77 percent of the municipalities responded to the survey. In municipalities with more than 20,000 residents, there was a 95 percent response. The least central municipalities and municipalities with few inhabitants are underrepresented among those who answered. The municipalities who participated dispose almost 90 percent of the total available dwellings in the municipalities, measured against the number of municipal dwellings reported in KOSTRA 2016.
The results from the survey shows that 42 per cent of municipal dwellings are care dwellings, 56 per cent are dwellings for people with socially and/or financially disadvantages and 2 per cent are allocated without means testing. It is the major cities and the most central municipalities that use the largest proportion of municipal dwellings on people with socially and/or financially disadvantages. If you look at the number of dwellings for people with socially and/or financially disadvantages per 1,000 inhabitants, the coverage is highest in municipalities with less than 2 000 inhabitants and in the largest cities.
There are large variations between the municipalities in how the housing stock is distributed among different types of dwellings. Different municipalities have different needs, but the variations may also be due to difficulties in defining whether a dwelling is a care dwelling or a dwelling for people with socially and/or financially disadvantages. The survey has revealed that practice differs among municipalities when it comes to whether dwellings for people with mental disorders, homes for elderly and dwellings for people with substance problems are considered as care dwellings or dwellings for people with socially and/or financially disadvantages. This applies especially when health services are offered in the dwelling.
One of four municipalities have not answered the question of how many of the care dwellings that are built with start-up grants or investment grants from The Norwegian State Housing Bank. Among those who have answered, there are some variations in the proportion of the care dwellings built with such grants. The main reason for the fact that there is not always a correspondence between the number of care dwellings and the number of care dwellings built with grants, is that many municipalities have reported dwellings built before the grant was introduced in 1994 as care dwellings.