Meeting a Growing Homelessness

How could three Swedish affordable housing initiatives be analyzed from perspectives of social and economic sustainability?

  • Anna Granath Hansson KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Keywords: affordable housing, homelessness, social innovation, social and economic sustainability


Homelessness has increased substantially in Sweden in the last decade with an emphasis on structural homelessness. Further, municipalities have the responsibility to house a certain number of newly-arrived immigrants under the Settlement Act. Many municipalities have had difficulties in meeting the acute housing need, as well as its costs, and have started to look at new types of housing solutions. Socially innovative initiatives of the civil society and private developers have been encouraged.
This paper investigates three civil society and private housing developments and how they might contribute to socially and economically sustainable housing solutions for households in or on the verge to homelessness. In order to operationalize the sustainability concept related to these local projects, an analytical set of questions have been developed based on the literature and project data. It is concluded that all three projects are socially and economically sustainable at the outset, but that certain traits of the project set-ups make them more uncertain in the longer run. The sustainability lens was fruitful in analyzing the projects, but non-physical factors will in many cases be person dependent and therefore difficult to generalize. As it is expected that this new type of housing in the Swedish setting will increase in numbers, the analytical set of questions should be tested in relation to further projects and be developed further.


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How to Cite
Granath Hansson, A. (2020). Meeting a Growing Homelessness: How could three Swedish affordable housing initiatives be analyzed from perspectives of social and economic sustainability?. Nordic Journal of Surveying and Real Estate Research, 15(1), 7-37.