Swedish Gov’t Kicks Family Out Of Housing To Make Room For Refugees

REUTERS/Marko Djurica.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The Swedish government has issued a notice to a family living in public housing that they must vacate the premises in August to make room for migrants.

Uffe Rustan told Swedish newspaper Mitti that he had been informed over the phone by his local municipality that he would have to take his family and get out of the building by August.

“I was evicted from my home over the phone. When I asked for the reason, he said that people come from other countries. He left the news and basically just said have a nice weekend,” Rustan said.

Rustan lives in public housing with his two teenage sons. The lease works on a six-month basis and he had already renewed once. During his stay, the city told him they didn’t have any future plans for the building and even said they might work out a permanent contract. The city later reneged on the potential of a permanent contract regarding the house. For about half the time Rustan and his family have lived in public housing, the building has undergone major renovations. He has not been compensated for any of the disturbances.

“It feels a little depressing,” Rustan added. “I think this is about morality and how to treat people, that everyone should be treated equally. But apparently I’m worth less than any other.”

In discussing his plans, Rustan said he would probably be able to find a place for himself and the kids by August.

“Probably, we have to move from here but I do not think it is right. I can stay with friends, but it is the worst for the children.”

All is not lost, at least not yet. After hearing the news, Rustan contacted a lawyer, who thinks the government is running roughshod over the law to kick Rustan and his family out of their house. A notice to end a housing agreement has to occur no less than three months before the agreement expires, according to the Tenancy Act. And this notice must be in writing, not simply delivered over the phone.

Evicting families from public housing to make room for migrants has started to become more common in other parts of Europe, as well. Many Germans in dire straits are being told they need to leave their public accommodations to make space for migrants, over 1 million of which have flooded into the country in 2015 alone.

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