Faced With Housing Shortage, Nation Turns to Unused Containers

Shipping containers in Sweden. Credit: Sputniknews.

In Sweden, even with a robust and sturdy “welfare economy,” the nation is still suffering from an intense housing shortage due to its popularity as a destination for migrants.

It’s now looking to shipping containers as an option to ease the crisis.

And with imports from places like China to Europe much greater than exports, there’s a surplus of Chinese containers in the country.

Following a model used in the U.S., the UK and the Netherlands where surplus containers have been successfully converted into homes, the Swedes intend to follow in their footsteps to plug the gaping holes in their housing market.

We looked up on the Internet how homes like this are built in the United States, and were inspired by their recycling ideas to make affordable, small accommodations of our own,” said Peter Eriksson, CEO of Svenska Containerhus in Skelleftea.


A Svenska Containerhus. Credit: Twitter, Sputniknews.

According to Sputnik News, with a price tag of slightly above 400,000 Swedish Krona (about $45,000 USD) the container option is more than affordable housing by Swedish standards. However, the customer pays for additional expenditures on land, sewage and electricity.

The container concept has been tried several times in Stockholm and southern Sweden with mixed success, but attracted significant criticism of the building quality, which compelled the city of Helsingborg to scrap plans for 100 container homes.

In spite of this, Eriksson is not deterred.

We build homes adapted for the Nordic climate. Besides, the containers are designed for a serviceable life of 20 years at sea in the wind and salt water. These homes are also easy to move,” said Eriksson.

A furnished container apartment. Credit: Local SE.

According to Swedish housing portal Hur vi bor (“How we live“), nine out of ten Swedes live in a municipality that is suffering from a housing shortage. According to previous estimates by the Swedish Housing Board, a total of 710,000 new homes will be needed in Sweden, a nation of roughly 10 million, by 2025.

The lack of housing is most severe among migrants and refugees. According to Aftonbladet, Swedish municipalities currently plan to invest nearly 100 million Swedish Krona ($11.2 million USD) to secure apartments for new arrivals.

Throughout the country, various means of combatting the housing shortage among so-called “new Swedes” have been tried, from modular housing to temporary renting of villas, hotel rooms and cruise ships. In December 2016, Stockholm tried accommodating newcomers in dormitories, where up to 16 people sleep jammed in a single room.

The dormitory lacks kitchen facilities, and food has to be delivered.

​”Here I can neither study nor sleep. Everything is so difficult,” said Gidey Germay, a refugee from the African nation of Eritrea. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

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