Fremtidens leiemarked i et internasjonalt arbeidsmarked
The topic of this study is the increased labour immigration into Norway in recent years and, more specifically, the impact and dynamics of this immigration on the Norwegian housing market. As labour immigrants in Norway often have short-term plans and temporary contracts, we have been particularly concerned with the impact of the increased labour immigration on the rental housing market. Key questions we have addressed are To what extent, and how, is the Norwegian housing market structurally aligned with the increased labour immigration? What is the basis for labour migrants’ different strategies in the housing market? What is the impact of increased labour immigration on local housing markets and local governments’ use of social housing? The analysis is based on interviews with people who presumably know the housing situation of labor immigrants in Norway. We have considered immigration and housing policies as structural conditions for the housing processes of labour immigrants, and identified some key dimensions of their strategies to resolve their housing challenges. On the basis of these strategies we have considered how local housing markets may be affected by the housing processes of labour immigrants. Based on their different visa and residence requirements, we categorize immigrant workers into three main groups: Nordic citizens, EEA citizens, and citizens of so-called third countries, or countries outside the EEA. The immigration requirements entail that labour immigrants from third countries are largely being offered housing through their employers upon arrival, while the other two groups primarily have to find their own housing. Many immigrant workers from within the EEA are, however, also offered housing through their employers. This particularly applies to employees who come to Norway on short-term assignments or who are commuting between Norway and the country of origin. Nordic immigrant workers are largely left to themselves, but this group experiences fewer barriers in the housing market than the other two groups of immigrants. The Scandinavian languages are mutually intelligible, and this makes it much easier to find information about how the housing market operates. Nordic immigrants are also frequently preferred among Norwegian house owners. Some structural features of the Norwegian housing market can be challenging for foreign workers who come to Norway. Among these minimum occupancy, non-transparent housing services, high prices and equity requirements, discrimination and the emergence of informal and illegal housing solutions provide barriers that make it difficult for migrant workers to procure adequate housing. How immigrants solve the structural challenges in the housing market varies according to their individual circumstances. Immigrant workers who move to Norway constitute an unusually diverse group, and their strategies vary accordingly, mainly along the dimensions of length of sojourn in Norway, family situation, assistance from employers, financial resources, cultural resources and social resources. The time dimension is particularly important for understanding labour immigrants’ housing strategies and challenges. The longer an individual has stayed in Norway, the more established he or she is likely to be in the housing market. An increase in labour immigration often means increased pressure on local housing markets. This can lead to changes in the opportunities for groups who wish to establish themselves in the same market segments as labour migrants. For some marginal and disadvantaged groups, this may mean a worsening situation due to increased expenses, while some may even find themselves left behind in the competition for available housing. This presupposes, however, that they are competing for the same housing. Increased labour immigration may also lead to changes in the use of social housing subsidies. For prolonged or permanent establishment, many migrant workers may, like the population at large, apply for start-up loans" to meet banks' equity requirements. Furthermore, local authorities may experience an increase in the demand for housing subsidies. This demand comes primarily in the form of increased payments to the disadvantaged who experience increased housing costs in the wake of increased pressure and inflation in the rental market. Increased labour immigration means that the involved local authorities should plan and facilitate this migration in its housing policy. This is generally not the case today, although there are some exceptions. There is a need for a better basis for assessing different mechanisms underlying the different housing conditions among labour immigrants. Housing policy and integration policy are closely connected. At present, the Directorate responsible for the implementation of Norway’s integration policy, The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), has little knowledge of the largest category of immigrants, namely labour immigrants. The need for further research and monitoring is important for several reasons. If Norway is to be an attractive destination for foreign workers in the long run, labour immigrants must be able to secure satisfactory housing. Satisfactory housing will also be an important prerequisite for the successful integration into Norwegian society of immigrant workers on a long-term or permanent basis. A lack of knowledge of their settlement and possible re-emigration patterns and of the mechanisms underlying such patterns makes Norway vulnerable. Given that the country is highly dependent on foreign labour, Norway must deal more actively with the challenges that migrant workers experience on the housing market. The housing needs of immigrant workers who stay long-term or permanently in Norway will most likely resemble those of the majority population. This means that projections of labour immigration, produced by Statistics Norway, need to be incorporated into local and national housing plans, so that the real need for housing may be exposed. Currently, however, we know little about the long-term trends in the settlement patterns of today’s labour immigrants. This is also likely to vary between different groups of workers. Based on the current situation, most foreign workers appear to have a temporary perspective on their stay in Norway, and therefore primarily require temporary housing solutions. Among new, job-seeking arrivals and migrant workers with short-term contracts of employment, there is a great need for short-term housing solutions. These migrant workers need flexible and affordable accommodation while they orient themselves in the labour and housing markets. Such a housing supply does not currently exist. In the short term, challenges are also related to a lack of accessible information about the Norwegian housing market. Measures to control informal and illegal housing solutions also need to be improved.I løpet av de senere årene har Norge opplevd økt tilflytting av utenlandsk arbeidskraft. Tema for dette notatet er disse arbeidsinnvandrernes etablering på det norske boligmarkedet. Hvordan er det norske boligmarkedet strukturelt innrettet med hensyn til de boligbehovene arbeidsinnvandrerne har? Hvilke strategier velger arbeidsinnvandrerne for å løse sine boligutfordringer? Hvilke effekter har arbeidsinnvandringen på lokale boligmarkeder der arbeidsinnvandrerne bosetter seg? Problemstillingene er belyst gjennom intervjuer med personer som har kjennskap til arbeidsinnvandrernes situasjon i Norge.
- NOVA - Notat 
Sandlie, Hans Christian
Seeberg, Marie Louise