Tag Archives: housing crisis

BUILDING THE ECONOMY UP: Economic activity in Svalbard increases 11.4 percent in 2018, due largely to construction

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The past few years of economic and literal destruction in Longyearbyen due to the near elimination of mining as a cornerstone industry and existing homes due to risks caused by climate change has paved the way for a strong rebound in economic activity, as total gross income for Svalbard increased 11.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, Statistics Norway reported Thursday.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 18, 2019

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Demolition of more than 140 residences in avalanche homes delayed until at least end of summer, new rules for passenger ships in Svalbard pose hardship for operators of older dayboats and Svalbard’s biggest drinking contest is again underway.

SHORT-TERM GAIN, LONG-TERM PAIN: A dozen evacuated ‘red zone’ homes can again be occupied until winter, but dozens more may join demolition list due to avalanche exposure

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Good news: a dozen apartments can now be occupied during the next several months just in time for the many employees arriving for the start of summer cruise ship season next week. Bad news: the list of about 140 residences scheduled for demolition beginning as soon as this month due to their avalanche exposure may add another 41 units because previous hopes of protecting them may be unfeasible.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 23, 2019

11-year-old with lymphoma got life-threatening misdiagnosis from local hospital, mother says
Sander Higraff, 11, was recently declared cancer-free after six months of chemotherapy at an Olso hospital, but an incorrect diagnosis by Longyearbyen and Tromsø doctors lasting ten months after his condition first appeared in 2015 could have been fatal, said his mother, Kristin Woxholth.

CONCRETE PROMISE: Here’s how crazy Longyearbyen’s housing market is: Somebody bought this uninhabitable historic building in an avalanche zone for 1.4M kroner

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The government says it’s illegal to live there and even if you could it’s in a high-risk avalanche zone (several occurred in the immediate vicinity during the past week, wrecking a hillside cable tower and spilling across a road that had to be closed). But, hey, it’s nicely furnished and has cultural heritage site status, so whoever just paid 1.4 million kroner for it has some nice bragging rights even if – like the previous owners – they’re forced to live elsewhere.

MASS DESTRUCTION: Demolition of 142 avalanche-zone homes; 553M kr. for new housing, protective measures gets final OK

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After three years of dealing with the enormous physical and emotional scars inflicted on Longyearbyen by a deadly avalanche, local leaders unanimously approved an emergency security plan Monday that will cause a far greater imprint by demolishing 142 homes in at-risk areas while spending 553 million kroner for new housing and protective measures.

OVERNIGHT STORM TRIGGERS EVACUATION OF LIA: Dozens of homes vacated due to avalanche risk – most until at least next spring

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They spent the day digging and trudging through boot-deep snow from an overnight storm, only to get a cold shock when they were informed at 5 p.m. they had an hour to vacate their homes due to the the risk of avalanches – and most won’t be able to return until at least next spring.

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

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Six people in four buildings were evicted this week from the spaces at Sjøområdet by city and fire officials who say residing in them is a fire hazard.

Adiós Airbnb: Company becomes Longyearbyen’s largest private landlord by buying 84 apartments, will end short-term rentals

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A company that is purchasing 84 apartments in Longyearbyen will halt the practice of using five of them for Airbnb rentals, a decision earning praise from local leaders and residents due to the town’s critical shorting of housing.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 18, 2018

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Norway’s justice minister says the “government is working on a solution” for private homeowners in avalanche-prone areas, 72 applicants seek 39.1 million kroner  from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund and seven Russians help Store Norske workers clean up debris at the aging Mine 2B.