Tag Archives: Øyvind Snibsøer

Home fires: Rentals continue to be scarce and costly despite layoffs; politicians point fingers at who’s to blame

wreckedhomes

There’s lots of newly-built housing, people are being laid off by the hundreds – yet places available for rent are extremely rare and costly

Dozens of Longyearbyen residents have scrambled to find housing on short notice during the past couple of months due to the destruction of 11 homes in the Dec. 19 avalanche and the 30 tenants at Gamle Sykehuset forced to suddenly evacuate their apartments last month. While most appear to have found at least temporary housing, the shortage has touched off a political feud about who’s responsible for the situation and how it should be addressed.

‘Anchor baby’ antithesis: Debate about citizenship for kids of Svalbard parents are familiar, but the pols taking sides aren’t

thaikids

It’s no surprise a political debate about “anchor babies” might get ugly but, as with so many things, Svalbard’s fighting it out like nowhere else.

Conservative politicians are enthusiastic about them. The left-leaning Labor Party is denouncing their counterparts for promising to seek changes in immigration laws that will never happen, perhaps winning a significant number of votes from foreign residents in last week’s election in the process.