Far from everyone dreams of owning their own home. Helene Askeland Thuen (27) in NTL Ung believes that the politicians in the Storting should make arrangements so that one can live a safe and good life as tenants.
– It was a pretty tricky process to look for a place to live in Oslo, says student Helene Askeland Thuen at the University of Oslo (UiO).
In recent years, the 27-year-old has studied in Bergen, where she lived in an apartment with low rent. In ours, she entered the master’s program in organization, management and work at UiO. Then the hunt for a roof started at all in the capital.
She made contact with many rentals, got almost no response and was just on two views. Thuen heard about tenants who received hundreds of inquiries they never had time to answer.
– I was sincerely afraid that I would not find a place to live, says the master’s student who is also a board member of the youth organization of the Norwegian Civil Servants Association, NTL Ung.
It resolved itself in the end. She was offered to take over a student apartment on September 1st. In August, she spent the night with her sister.
My second: This “wardrobe” was rented out for 6,200 kroner a month: – The rental market is only getting worse and worse
The value of homes increased by 15 percent
During the apartment hunt, the Bergen man rolled down the Instagram account @min_drittleilighed with pictures of small, dirty rental homes at sky-high prices. Many share her frustrations over the rental market.
– This is not just about student politics. It must be allowed to dream of something of another 18 square meters. I feel like I’m staying at a hotel.
Thuen looks around himself. She is sitting on a stick chair at a folding table that can be up to the bed.
Nevertheless, the Bergen native is lucky compared to many. She is a student and can rent an unfurnished studio apartment on the 11th floor of St. Hanshaugen in Oslo for 7400 kroner a month. However, the student loan is not enough to pay the rent. She also works part-time for an optician.
Because it is expensive to live in Norway, both to buy and rent. This is how it is when supply and demand control the housing market. Commercial builders and rentals and a free brand drive up prices. In Oslo, house prices increased by 15 percent from March 2020 to March 2021.
Not only students and part-time employees struggle to enter the housing market, but also nurses with an average salary of 584,280 kroner a year have problems. In Oslo, a single nurse in a full-time position can afford 1.3 percent of the homes, according to Eiendomsverdi.
Podcast: Why is it so difficult to enter the housing market in Norway? And what alternative ways in are there really? Hear the episode.
A third housing market
– A home is a home, not a commodity, says Sofie Ringdal (23) on the phone.
She is the coordinator of the city committee in the environmental and development organization Spire and spokesperson for Boligoppropet, which 16 organizations support.
Their main demand is that housing should be a human right and not an object of speculation. They want a fairer housing policy with less inequality.
– There should be better solutions for those who do not have the opportunity to buy a home and who want to rent. Today, it’s a bit like renting being put on like throwing money out the window, she says.
HOUSING PROPOSAL: – We can also live a safe and good life as tenants, says Sofie Ringdal.
Ringdal believes that society must facilitate ownership does not become the only solution and lists the tools needed: Lower rents, long-term and predictable leases and better illegality follow-up of the rental sector.
The spokesperson advocates for a third housing sector. These are homes that are not part of the commercial market, nor are social housing for the disadvantaged.
Cities such as Copenhagen, Vienna and Zurich have housing associations that offer rental housing at far below market price, where you can live for a long time, renovate and shape the home as you wish. The contracts are almost irrevocable and can be inherited.
In Copenhagen, private developers must build a certain proportion of non-commercial housing in order for the project to be approved by the municipality.
– We must raise the status of renting. Norway is a self-owned country and especially in a global context.
The parties and housing policy: Alida (23) rents for 10,000 a month, but does not get a loan to buy her own home. The parties will do this with the housing market (case from September)
Report to the Storting on housing policy
Increasing the taxes on secondary housing is a very concrete measure for a person’s desire to speculate in expensive rental objects. Both Rødt and SV have it in their party program, but in the government declaration to the Labor Party and the Center Party it says nothing about tax increase.
Ringdal is dissatisfied and refers to the party’s party program which states that the home should not be an object of speculation, but a place to live.
– Then it is disappointing to see that the means to achieve this have been sacrificed in the negotiations.
But despite vague wording, a report to the Storting on housing policy must be submitted, and the Rent Act must be considered a consumer law, according to the government platform.
– We will follow this work closely and ensure that what may be empty words, becomes a real action and a change of pace in Norwegian housing policy, says Ringdal.
Would love to rent
Back on the 11th floor at St. Hanshaugen is also not student Helene Askeland Thuen particularly impressed with the Hurdal platform.
– To expand the social mission to the Housing Bank and to facilitate that the municipality in collaboration with housing associations can build affordable housing, is good, but too vague, says Thuen.
The master’s student from Bergen reacts to the platform barely mentioning the rental market.
– In the bank, we are met with the fact that we will not be able to service a loan even if we pay me rent and that loan costs. I am not against people renting out their basement apartment, but that professional landlords only increase their profit on people not being able to afford to buy their own home.
During the year she is fully educated. Then she has to find a new roof at all.
– My dream is to live in a home that feels like mine, and I like to pay rent to a cooperative, to a community.