Was positive but is now "angry, frustrated and annoyed"

Birna Rún Arnarsdóttir with the sign at Austurvöllur yesterday.

Birna Rún Arnarsdóttir with the sign at Austurvöllur yesterday. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Birna Rún Arnarsdóttir, a resident of Grindavík, was one of many residents of Grindavík who turned out at Austurvöllur yesterday to protest the work methods of the real estate company Þórkatla, which is handling the government buyouts of properties in Grindavík.

On Wednesday, the protest was announced on Facebook and a few dozen people showed up at Austurvöllur and some of them went to the parliamentary platforms.

Arnarsdóttir was holding a sign saying: Buy immediately! The residents of Grindavík have criticized the real estate company for its late start, which in many cases has made it difficult for them to buy real estate in other locations.

No answers and lost the apartment she was going to buy

“I know there was a statement from the CEO of Þórkatla today but we haven’t heard from them in a long time. We haven’t received any information since this law on the state’s buyouts of the assets of Grindavík passed in February,” Arnarsdóttir tells mbl.is.

She says it is the wish of the residents of Grindavík to get some answers from Þórkatla, but she says she has found an apartment and applied on March 8 to Þórkatla buy their house.

“I got the answer that it would take two or four weeks. I informed the real estate agent that I could finish the purchase after at least four weeks. I had a kitchen and more drawn up, but nothing happened and I lost the apartment,” she says.

Arnarsdóttir says that this is not a unique case and that many people have been in the same situation as her. She says that it may have been a little crazy to start looking for a place to live right away, but when people are in the situation of not having a home, they want to find some stability and it’s difficult when people are in a staying with relatives.

She lives with her father in Garðabær with her husband and two of their children.

“We were incredibly lucky. My father moved out of his apartment and went upstairs to my sister, and we’re in a three-bedroom apartment.

Was one of the first ten who applied

Do you think that these protests today will be successful?

“No, I had already received confirmation from Þórkatla that I had been among the first ten applicants and should therefore be among the first ten to get this through. When you see in the news that 127 contracts have been finalized and I am not on that list, I don’t understand this situation.”

She says that Þórkatla was answering emails but that the answers were standard replies and not answering the questions asked.

“I’ve been very positive and encouraging throughout this process, but somehow today I said this is it. I can’t be positive about this anymore. Now I’m just angry, frustrated and annoyed,” says Arnarsson, who is a teacher at a museum school.




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