Country Report: Housing Last updated: 10/06/22


Swedish Refugee Law Center Visit Website

Persons obtaining positive decisions can be placed in municipalities by the Migration Agency based on a quota system. This is described as “settlement” (Bosättning). A law was passed in 2016 mandating municipalities to receive those granted residence permits after the asylum procedure.[1] This was done to address the situation where many permit holders were forced to wait many months at the Migration Agency’s accommodation and thus delayed their integration into Swedish society. The municipalities now have an obligation to offer them housing within two months from being designated by the Migration Agency as a reception municipality.[2] After that period the responsibility for providing support and housing falls on the municipality.[3] This responsibility lasts for 2 years while the so-called establishment process is going through. After that period many municipalities revoke the housing contract and individuals are obliged to find their own accommodation. If they fail they can request social housing as a temporary solution.

In 2021, a total of 13,349 persons were assigned to be received in municipalities throughout Sweden after receiving a residence permit, including 6,248 who were resettled, 1,970 who had been staying in reception centres, 2,156 who had been residing in accommodation that they had arranged themselves and 2,246 relatives and 729 “other”.[4

The average time between the granting of a permit and being settled in a municipality was 56 days in 2021, down from 58 days in 2020, and just within the two-month deadline for leaving Migration Agency accommodation.[5] A total of 415 beneficiaries with residence permits were living in Migration Agency accommodation at the end of 2021, down from 634 in 2020.[6] This significant decrease in the number of beneficiaries staying in Migration Agency accommodation is most likely due to the decrease in number of persons being granted residence permits in asylum cases (in first instance: 3,310 in 2021, down from 4,922 in 2020).[7]

Those granted permits can also find their own accommodation. Should they refuse an offer from a municipality through the Migration Agency, they will no longer receive support or accommodation from the Migration Agency.

Swedish municipalities are obliged by law to provide housing for persons granted protection or the right to stay on other grounds. This obligation lasts for two years only and after that there is no guaranteed housing and persons can be evicted. A court decision has confirmed that this is a correct interpretation of the law.[8] This leads to greater insecurity in the integration process and if no other housing is available locally the refugees might have to move to another town.




[1] Lag (2016:38) om mottagande av vissa nyanlända invandrare för bosättning, available at: http://bit.ly/2mqkzq2.

[2] Section 10, Förordning (2016:39) om mottagande av vissa nyanlända invandrare för bosättning, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/3bfdUXN.

[3] Migration Agency, ‘Bosättning i en kommun’, 20 January 2017, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/2msvG3J.

[4] Migration Agency, Monthly statistical report December 2021, including year-end numbers, 28.

[5] Migration Agency, Monthly statistical report December 2021, including year-end numbers, 30.

[6] Migration Agency, Monthly statistical report December 2021, including year-end numbers, 26, and Monthly statistical report December 2020, 26.

[7] Migration Agency, Monthly statistical report December 2021, p. 8, including year-end numbers, and Monthly statistical report December 2020.

[8] Sabo, ‘Ny dom ger kommun rätt att säga upp nyanländas hyreskontrakt’, 5 April 2018, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/2UwxmH2.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – I Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation