The Norwegian State Housing Bank' role

The Norwegian State Housing Bank is the main agency implementing Norwegian social housing policy on the national level.

The primary vision for the Norwegian housing policy is adequate and secure housing for all. There are three principle agents which cooperate in providing housing for the Norwegian population; the National Government, municipal authorities and private firms and organizations. 

The main features are as follows:

  • The government and the parliament determine the national housing policy goals, the legislative and the financial framework
  • The Norwegian State Housing Bank (NSHB) is the implementing agency and provides loans, grants and guidance as well as initiates new development and research
  • The municipalities plan and enable the building and rehabilitation of housing, and are responsible for ensuring that the disadvantaged have access to adequate and good housing 
  • Private individuals own, build and manage the housing stock

Stability in the housing market and the building industry, as well as the provision of adequate housing for the entire population, is dependent on the cooperative efforts of these agents.

The Norwegian State Housing Bank

Although this distribution of roles remains, a shift has nevertheless taken place towards greater emphasis on social aspects of housing policies, deregulation of the markets and decentralisation. The emphasis is more on targeting people with special housing needs and less on supply-side measures. 

The primary aim of the Norwegian housing policy is to supply adequate and secure housing for all. Many people need support in order to find and retain adequate housing. This is both the case for individuals with special needs as well as those who experience financial difficulties in entering the housing market. Our job is to assist the municipalities, who are our most important customers, in providing a comprehensive solution for those needing assistance in the housing market. By using or combining our start loan, housing allowance, and housing grant, the aim is that more people will be able to obtain and remain in their own home, either as an owner or as a tenant.

A social housing policy knowledge centre and a coordinator of welfare services

Strengthening and further developing the role as a social-housing policy knowledge centre is a priority for The Norwegian State Housing Bank. The NSHB has created several social-housing networks so that municipalities are able to transfer knowledge. 

Usually we achieve results by working in partnership with municipalities. The Housing Bank builds the partnership and ensures that housing policies are implemented effectively through our municipal programme.

The municipal programme provides the framework for our implementation of the government’s Housing for welfare strategy. The Housing Bank is leading and coordinating six welfare directorates to help secure that the government provide users with a joined up service. 

Universal design

From 2016 national responsibility for quality of housing was transferred to The Norwegian Building Authority. The Housing Bank is following up the promotion of universal design and environmentally friendly solutions in the housing and building sectors.