Housing in a Socialist Paradise

Despite all the Hopey Change, Sweden is still ahead of us on the road toward collectivism. Let’s see how easy it is to find housing in a place where it’s regarded as a “human right”:

Long waiting times and high black market prices have long characterised Stockholm’s rental housing market… The sheer hopelessness of the situation faced by newcomers to Stockholm looking to rent an apartment has been exposed once again by a report on the findings of the major public housing firms…

The most common scenario is that many tenants keep hold of their rental apartments after having moved. As the waiting times for inner-city Stockholm apartments can run to as long as 20 years many fear never being able to re-enter the market again if they were to surrender their contracts.

Waiting lists are to be expected under socialism, but Stockholm is particularly awful. Of eight comparable EU cities studied in a report by the Swedish Property Federation,

Stockholm stood alone as the city with a long waiting list. It was also the only city with a generally regulated housing system.

As usual, the crisis is a result of Big Government getting its foot in the door.

Hans Lind [a professor of housing economics at the Royal Technical College in Stockholm] explained that the system of regulated rents was introduced in the 1950s as a temporary measure and that now, almost sixty years later, the somewhat unique situation is very difficult to change.

Lind was asked,

Defenders of rent regulation argue that the current system allows people of all incomes and classes to live in the inner-city. Can you see any advantages with the system?

“Only for those who happen to find an apartment. Now it is very much by chance, or for those with a lot of money and the right contacts, or after a very long wait,” Lind argued.

“To suggest that the regulated rental market fulfils a social function is just hypocrisy. Take Stockholm. Anyone can see that the rich live in one place, the less well-off somewhere else. There are very few areas where they are mixed.”

Some will always be higher on the totem pole than others. In a free country, you climb or slide on your merits. In a socialist country, everything is frozen in place by the bureaucracy. This is why socialism is favored by elitists.

Eric Clark [a professor in human geography at Lund University] on the other hand argued that the rental market should fulfil a social function.

“It is a question of whether you see housing as a human right,” he said.

When progressives start blathering about their coercive concept of “human rights,” it means their moonbattery cannot be defended.

On a tip from Forest. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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