Vr Bjarg Skoflustunga

News - 10.08.2023

Construction of VR housing launched

The chairman of VR, Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, and the mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson, formally launched the construction of new VR apartment buildings on the union‘s site in Úlfarsárdalur today, Thursday 10 August. This marks the beginning of a long-awaited construction of rental housing for members. An important day in the fight for a fair rental market, said the chairman of VR on the occasion.

The work is being done under the auspices of Blær housing foundation, and the VR apartment buildings are the foundation's first project. Blær is a sister company of Bjarg's housing foundation and, in the same way as Bjarg, is a joint project of ASÍ and BSRB. Bjarg will oversee the construction and operation of Blær, and Bjarg's experience and knowledge in building affordable apartments will be useful for Blær in future projects.

VR was allocated the site at Silfratjörn in Úlfarsárdalur in 2021 by the City of Reykjavík. At the beginning of this year a cooperation agreement was signed with building company ÍAV for the development of the site. Today, 10 August 2023, a construction agreement was signed and first ground broken.

In all, 36 apartments will be built in two apartment buildings for rent by VR members. The aim is for the last apartments to be delivered at the end of 2024 / beginning of 2025. The same arrangement will be used as used by Bjarg non-profit housing foundation with good results in the development of rental properties.

VR has led the fight for a fairer housing market within the labor movement, not least when it comes to rental. " Today marks a turning point, we have worked hard in recent years to get to this point," said Ragnar Þór. "Blær is a sign of new thinking in the rental market and breaks new ground in construction history in Iceland. The company is not a non-profit foundation, but focuses on cost-effective rent, quality and residential security of renters. This philosophy is known in the Nordic countries and in Europe, where pension funds invest in the development of the rental market. We hope that Icelandic pension funds and other similar long-term investors will be involved in the future development of Blær. Now, however, its time to get to work."

In the photo above, from the left: Finnbjörn A. Hermannsson, president of ASÍ, Sigrún Guðmundsdóttir, VR board member, Jennifer Schröder, VR board member, Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, chairman of VR, Dagur B. Eggertsson, mayor of Reykjavík, Selma Björk Grétarsdóttir, vice-chairman of VR, Bjarni Þór Sigurðsson, VR board member, and Valur Hreggviðsson, from ÍAV.