SWEDEN. A Somali family live in an apartment in Biskopsgården, Gothenburg, with two rooms, one kitchen and toilet. It’s only 62 square meter big. Now they want a bigger apartment.
Abdir, the father, arrived in Sweden first and got the lease on the apartment 7 years ago. 6 years ago he brought his wife, Seinab, and the 7 children as family immigration. Two more children have been born here. They are both unemployed and live on welfare. They have done so for years and it’s likely that it will continue that way (only 1/5 of Somalis work and after 16 years in Sweden only half of immigrants have gotten a job).
The apartment is way to small for such a large family and I understand it must be really hard on them. The apartment is worn down, but the article doesn’t say if it was like that to begin with or if it’s the result of the family. It’s not criticism; kids have a talent for trashing wallpaper etc.
Abdir and Seinab have been looking for an another apartment for 6 years and have even been open to the possibility to trade their home with somebody who want something smaller. Abdir say that apartments with 4 or 5 rooms seldom are available and they haven’t got the money to buy somewhere to live.
I would just like to say: Welcome to Sweden. We didn’t use to have big families here so the housing market isn’t adapted to their needs. And the lack of apartments have also been a problem for many years, especially for students, and it didn’t get better when all the immigrants showed up. This is a problem all over Sweden and finding somewhere to live is hard for everybody. In some areas it’s even impossible.
And I don’t see how they are going to pay for a big apartment in Gothenburg. Why not look for housing in a smaller town where they might have luck and find what they need? Also, why on earth is it allowed for relatives to move here when the immigrant can’t provide for them?!