Buying up to 210 apartments

A view over the empty town of Grindavík.

A view over the empty town of Grindavík. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Temporary financial support will be granted to the residents of Grindavík for increased housing costs due to earthquakes in the area. Priority will also be given to securing housing for rent during the time it is deemed necessary until it is believed it is save to return to the town. These support measures were adopted at the meeting of the government on Friday.

In order to meet the housing demand, Bríet renting association has been asked to buy up to 150 new apartments. Bjarg apartment association will also help meet the housing demand of lower-income households in Grindavík, with the possible purchase of up to 60 apartments.

The apartments are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.

200 families requested short-term housing

About 3,700 residents were registered residents of Grindavík  before the current earthquake began.

It is estimated that about 700 people, or about 200 families, need a place to stay before the New Year. This is based on the applications that have been received for short-term housing. Most people have requested a place to stay in the capital area or in the southern part of Iceland.

From the meeting on Friday.

From the meeting on Friday. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Putting forth a bill

In the coming week, Minister of Infrastructure, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, plans to submit a bill to parliament on special housing support to help meet the increased costs of those who have to rent their homes outside Grindavík due to the earthquake.

“The support will be temporary for three months and will be reviewed before the end of that period, taking into account the need for continued support. Monthly housing support will be provided, which will increase depending on the number of people in homes against the presentation of a registered lease,” the Government Offices’ website states.

The total cost of the support is estimated at ISK 220-240 million per month.

Short term solution

The most favourable offers will be sought for the apartments that will be funded by the Housing Financing Fund. Therefore it is possible, in collaboration with the town of Grindavík, to allocate up to 210 new apartments to the residents of Grindavík in the near future to meet urgent housing needs.

“The basis of the project is that contracts are made with contractors to purchase ready-made apartments at a favourable price and that this will be undertaken in steps alongside a continuous assessment of housing needs. The project is considered as temporary, while there is uncertainty about the continuation of the case due to the earthquake on Reykjanes peninsula. A special declaration of intent was signed at the Minister’s Office with the leasing companies Bríet renting association and Bjarg apartment association to purchase the above-mentioned apartments.”

The apartments will be sold again once the situation has been resolved.

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