Housing Policy and plan

It is Reykjavík City's policy that all residents have safe housing at an affordable price, whether or not they need support with their housing issues. Thus, Reykjavík City's Housing Policy encompasses the housing needs of all residents, regardless of the form of ownership, size, and quality of housing.

Reykjavík City's updated Housing Plan was presented to the City Executive Council on November 10, 2022

Reykjavík City's housing plans are designed to meet the challenges of the housing market and the goals of Reykjavík City in housing matters. It is based on Reykjavík City's policy making in housing matters and on the legal framework and analyses of the housing market status. It defines the main building sites in Reykjavík and how the development of residential housing for the benefit of all residents will be arranged in cooperation with the labor movement, housing cooperatives, associations of seniors, students, and private parties.

Housing Policy

This website contains various information on Reykjavík City's Housing Policy and Housing Plan. The Green Deal website also provides updates on housing development in Reykjavík according to the Housing Plan. The development of residential housing in Reykjavík was discussed at an information session hosted by the Mayor of Reykjavík on October 29, 2021.

Policy making

Reykjavík's policy making in housing matters can be found in approved policy documents and approvals by the City Council and City Executive Council.

Key policy documents concerning housing issues include Reykjavík's Housing Policy, the City Council Majority Coalition Agreement 2018-2022, Reykjavík's Municipal Plan 2010-2030, and Reykjavík City's Contractual Goals in new development areas.

Reykjavík's policy making in housing matters can also be found in the following:

  • The Green Deal addresses economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable Reykjavík City concerning housing development, densification, and increased sustainability of residential areas.
  • Suggestions for a new appendix to the Municipal Plan were presented to the Planning & Transportation Council and City Executive Council in October 2020, involving a reassessment of the policy regarding residential and mixed development and extending the planning period until 2040.
  • The City Line project is a cornerstone of the recently approved transportation agreement between municipalities in the capital area and the state, planning a major effort in transportation to better connect the capital area over the next 15 years.
  • City Council Majority Coalition Agreement of Reykjavík City Council for 2018-2022 covers, among other things, initiatives in housing.

Four categories of housing issues

To simplify, Reykjavík City's goals in housing can be summarized into four categories:

Housing for everyone:

  • Housing supply will meet the needs of the time, with an increased offering of smaller dwellings in the coming years, regardless of ownership form.
  • A diverse range of housing types and living options for all social groups, ensuring any housing resource can be integrated within residential areas, centrally where residential housing is expected or in other mixed-use areas.
  • Reykjavík City's housing support will be tailored to the individual circumstances of residents.
  • Special attention will be given to the housing needs of youth and those entering the housing market for the first time, as well as those unwilling or unable to invest heavily in their own housing.
  • The goal is to create conditions for the development of at least 1,000 new dwellings per year on average. Of these, it is expected that about 250 dwellings will be built by non-profit housing associations.

Increase in rental and cooperative dwellings:

  • More rental and cooperative dwellings owned by housing cooperatives, associations, and/or private parties, especially in central areas easily served by public transportation.
  • The aim will be that about 25% of new dwellings will be by non-profit housing associations.
  • 2,500-3,000 new rental and cooperative dwellings will be built in the coming years in cooperation with rental and cooperative associations.
  • Félagsbústaðir Social Housing will be a cornerstone in new development projects.

Strong and sustainable neighborhoods:

  • Development of housing suitable for lower-income groups will mainly be in areas easily served by quality public transportation and/or near major employment centers and diverse services.
  • Strong community entities will be created, supporting basic services, varied shopping and services, sports and recreational activities, and diverse daily life.
  • Always consider the context of housing costs and transportation expenses when forming housing policies and creating housing plans.
  • Sustainable and environmentally friendly design solutions will always guide the development of new residential areas.

Efficient land use and densification along development axes:

  • Land and the city's infrastructure will be utilized efficiently, and the capital cost of infrastructure for development areas will be funded by the proceeds from the development.
  • Urban densification - 90% of all new dwellings in Reykjavík by 2030 will be within the current urban boundaries. Three areas will play a key role in Reykjavík's development over the next decades; Vatnsmýri, Elliðaárvogur, and the city center/Old Harbor.
  • Urban densification and new dwellings will be along development axes that connect the city center, including with CityLine, to densification areas to the east and south, taking into account the expected development in Vatnsmýri and municipalities in the capital area.