Reykjavík city will spend ISK 450 million ($4m/€3.4m) on 25 small homes for homeless, Vísir reports. The Reykjavík city council passed the resolution on the 20th of September, which is specifically intended to assist homeless with social problems.
The city aims to have the first homes ready by the end of 2018, which will have a minimum rent will be ISK 40,000 ($363/€309). The lots for the housing has not been found yet, which will be spread over the city. "We are inspecting locations. We'll try to refrain from having many houses near each other as we'd rather spread them over the city, and we hope that city residents will show the matter understanding", Heiða Björg Helgadóttir, the foreman of the city's welfare council. Heiða estimates that around 80 individuals are in need of special housing like this. "We think it's a good first step. There are already two houses in the Grandi area which have worked well", she stated.
The matters of the homeless were a focal point of the debate this summer. The minority in the Reykjavík city council has claimed there is inaction in these matters.
The City of Reykjavík released a report on homelessness at the end of 2017. According to data from the report, there are over 360 homeless in Reykjavík. Of this number, 68% were men, and 47% were between 21 and 40 years of age. The numbers include individuals living on the street, in shelters, in “precarious living situations,” as well as combinations of the above. Recently, Icelandic media has reported on a group of locals living permanently at the Reykjavík campsite and has raised awareness of the issue of homelessness. Many of these individuals have disabilities which impact their access to work and housing.
The number of homeless in Reykjavík in June 2017 was 349 people, which was a 95% increase from the number in 2012, when the number was 179, according to Vísir.