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  • StyrkirHljodvist

Safe housing for everyone

22. Apr 2022

Safe housing for everyone- mapping of the capital region completed.

The joint venture "Safe Housing for Everyone" was launched last October by the Housing and Construction Authority (HMS), the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASI) and the Capital Region Fire Brigade (SHS), with the aim of mapping dwellings in commercial properties for fire prevention purposes. The capital region was the first area to be mapped, the details of which were published in a report. 

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Jón Viðar Matthíasson, SHS fire chief; Regína Valdimarsdóttir, Team Leader at HMS; Drífa Snædal, President of ASÍ and Dagur B. Eggertsson, Chairman of the SHS Board, presented the main results at a press conference held in Skógarhlíð today.

The project involved assessing the number of inhabitants in commercial properties, current fire protection measures, and an analysis of the status of inhabitants regarding mother tongue, labour market status and other factors. The results showed that commercial property inhabitants had decreased since the SHS survey was conducted in 2017 when an estimated 3,500- 4,000 individuals lived in commercial housing. Recent figures show that there are currently 1,868 inhabitants, 19 of which are children. Most of these dwellings are in areas that are currently undergoing gentrification. Changes within society are an influencing factor in the number of people living in commercial housing.

Fire protection was generally of a higher standard than anticipated, but about half of the inhabitants lived without the necessary fire protection. The Capital Region Fire Brigade (SHS) believes that 25% of these commercial premises will need to be re-inspected to review fire protection measures thoroughly. Almost 33% of the population were Polish-speaking, whereas 24% were Icelanders. The vast majority, or nearly 85%, were employed in the labour market. There were indications that Icelanders often owned the commercial premises where they lived, whereas individuals of foreign origin were more likely to rent.