Historically, sheltered housing has not been a service that municipalities procure under framework agreements, but only in recent years has it become more common and there is an increase in private players in the market.

When the municipalities place women in need of protection with them, the investments in the traditional women's shelters decrease.

Has closed accommodation

The national organization for women's shelters and girls' shelters in Sweden, Roks, is noticing the change and several shelters have had to close their homes around the country.

According to the organization, this means a financial loss and a diluted commitment.

- On the one hand, the obvious risk is that fewer women receive support, but an even worse risk is that the knowledge we have disappears and is replaced by a completely different way of thinking and supporting, says Jenny Westerstrand, chairman of Roks.

Budget not cause

Uppsala is one of the municipalities that has started procuring sheltered housing.

That work began in December 2019 and was completed this spring.

The main reasons are that the costs for the purchase of these services are so high that they fall under the Public Procurement Act, but also that they want to create a clear framework for what the municipality expects from sheltered housing.

Whether it will increase the costs for the municipality or not is unclear.

- We have not had time so far that we have had time to evaluate whether this has affected our costs.

It is clear that dewt is an important factor in how we handle tax funds, but that is not what has been the basis for this procurement, says Johan Eikman, acting head of the systems department in Uppsala municipality.

An unregulated industry

National protection initiatives are one of the companies that offer sheltered housing and they are happy that the municipalities are now starting with procured agreements instead of direct procurement.

However, they already see now that the level of protection that different companies offer is very different.

- There is a need for clearer legislation, it increases the quality and also provides increased security for those who need help. The free room for interpretation in the industry means that everyone can define what sheltered housing is, which affects the quality and price picture, says Fredrik, who is the safety coordinator at National Protection Initiatives.