Denmark: will social housing ease the rent problem?

The Danish government has announced plans to build around 22,000 low-cost housing units by 2035. With this measure the minority Social Democrats want to ensure that housing remains affordable for everyone even in expensive cities like Copenhagen. The country's media criticise the plans for various reasons.

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Politiken (DK) /

Merely treating the symptoms

Unfortunately the plan does not go far enough, Politiken criticises:

“Even if the government has made the right diagnosis, the proposal doesn't solve the problem of the wild rise in real estate prices in the cities. The reasons are well known: limited supply, long-term tax breaks and the general influx into the cities. ... At the same time, the tax-free millions in profits from the sale of apartments accelerate economic and social inequality. ... Many people will no doubt benefit from the 'Cities with Room for All' plan. Thanks for that. But on the whole the plan is more about fiddling with the symptoms rather than a proper cure for the sick housing market.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Living downtown is not a human right

The idea reeks of a planned economy, Jyllands-Posten criticises:

“It must be stressed that living in central Copenhagen is not a human right. By the same token it is not a punishment to live in Roskilde, for example. ... In a free market those who have the most money win, in a regulated market those who know the right people - in many cases the right social democrats - win. ... As a result, many flats in Copenhagen are now distributed according to a feudal principle. ... For the government, it is first and foremost essential to build social housing. But this vision is nothing other than a planned economy.”