Conny Blom  
Folkhemmet / Home Sweet Home
In the mid 20th century the Swedish Social Democratic government was trying to ensure affordable, decent standard living for the whole Swedish population. The idea was that every citizen who wished to do so should be able to rent an apartment. That thought is still alive in Sweden. Actually a really nice set of rules has been established to govern this area. For example, to ensure the wellbeing of everybody, nobody is allowed to either rent or own more than one "home"; to minimize speculation and uncontrollably increasing rents, no private person is allowed to lend their apartments out for a period longer than two years; smaller apartments are meant only for single people, as everybody should be able to live decent lives in big enough apartments.

I am a self-employed culture worker, and so is my wife. This means that our income is smaller than that of most Swedish people. As we are two, we cannot rent small apartments. But whenever we apply for a big enough apartment by the Swedish standards, it gets rented out to people with higher income. As only companies are allowed to rent out apartments for a longer term, individuals are reduced to queuing numbers and computers sort the statistics to select new tenants. As far as computers are concerned, we would at the same time have good chances to be chosen for a small apartment, based on our economy, and we are unlikely candidates based on that we are not a single person. Same goes, in the other direction, for the bigger apartments. "Folkhemmet" consists of floor plans of over 150 apartments that we have applied for unsuccessfully.

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Conny Blom