Tag Archives: housing crisis

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.

CATASTROPHIC COSTS: 250 homes in Longyearbyen to be demolished, 220M kr. for new housing and safeguards due to climate change

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Forget the “alarmist” predictions about climate change impacts. During a year of actual catastrophes globally, here is Longyearbyen’s: 1) There are currently about 1,100 households in Longyearbyen. 2) about 250 residences are scheduled for demolition due to avalanche exposure, softening permafrost and other climate change factors.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 12, 2018

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New folk high school may mean 150 more Longyearbyen residents
Students enrolling at a new folk high school scheduled to open in Longyearbyen in the fall of 2019 will be able to register as permanent residents, which likely means the town can reverse more than a decade of decline in the percentage of Norwegian residents compared to foreigners.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 24, 2018

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Year-long trapping stays at Austfjordnes put on hold
The historical trappers’ way of life is coming to an end in Svalbard – at least temporarily at a cabin where caretakers have been selected for year-long stays by The Governor of Svalbard for the past few years.

‘Gotten scary’: Profits from tourism’s huge rise comes w/ huge pains in housing shortages, work conditions and disruptions

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Complaints of disruptive behavior by tour companies and individual tourists at all hours and during all months. Workers being forced to leave because the proliferation of AirBnb rentals means they can’t find housing. Guides considering unionizing due to what they call abusive take-it-or-leave it contracts.

The rapid rise of mass tourism is a problem being felt across Europe and beyond, with the deluge of visitors appreciative of an area’s beauty stirring up a rapid and ugly rise of hostile feelings among people living there. But as with many things, the situation in Longyearbyen is occurring in unique and extreme ways due to a staggeringly rapid change that has seen several hundred coal mining jobs replaced by tourism workers during the past few years.

‘A completely unsustainable situation’: New avalanche risk report says far more homes than thought are vulnerable

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Far more homes in the center of Longyearbyen are vulnerable to avalanches than previously thought. Spending 100 million to protect 37 residences and other parts of the city center with various snow barriers is being recommended. But there appears to be no practical way to protect about 140 more residences – meaning even more costly teardown and rebuilding efforts for a town already in a large-scale housing crisis.