Arne Backer Grønningsæter and Roy Nielsen at the research foundation FAFO, who prepared this report, state that there is a need for more research in order to clarify the causal relationship between housing and health, and explain the property's importance as an indication of living conditions and income distribution.
The majority of Norwegians are homeowners; however, this ownership shows an uneven distribution among generations and different income groups. The sharp rise in prices makes it difficult – especially for young people – to own a house and there is a clear tendency of increasing debt burden of households for lower and middle income groups.
Mission for Husbanken
Director of the Norwegian State Housing Bank (Husbanken) Bård Øistensen highlights Husbanken as a major player in the welfare system whose duty is to correct market failure and to ensure that housing, as a welfare benefit, is more evenly distributed in the population.
– “Welfare and equitable distribution is a social mission for several sectors. Therefore, we need to implement Husbanken's strategies in close cooperation with both state and municipal actors,” says Øistensen to Healthdirektoratet.
Husbanken is a Norwegian Government agency responsible for the housing politics in Norway. Its main focus is to provide mortgages for newly constructed housing. About half of all houses after World War II in Norway have been financed by Husbanken.
The bank has three distinct goals:
. To stimulate and achieve a well functioning housing market.
. To provide housing for groups that are disadvantaged on the housing market.
. To improve residential areas in being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.