The employees at Smålands Nation’s Housing (SNB) think that the foundation’s properties are being mistreated and that the employees’ situation is intolerable. Now they require Länsstyrelsen to intervene in the board of SNB.
Written by: Oskar Madunic Olsson. Translated by: Rebecka McKinnon Forsell
2016 was a turbulent year for Smålands Nation’s Housing (SNB). The housing foundation were forced to largely raise the rent because of the desperate need for renovation in some of the nation’s residences.
Lundagård can now reveal that a report came to Länsstyrelsen from the employees at SNB in mid-February 2017. The staff wanted Länsstyrelsen to start a commission of supervision against SNB, which they now have.
Länsstyrelsen will now inspect whether SNB have been administered in accordance with stiftelselagen and the regulations governing the foundation.
The basis for the staff’s reporting is partly classified information, but it is said in Länsstyrelsen’s documents that there is a “property and liquidity crisis” and a “delay of necessary decisions”. The working environment of the SNB staff is also described as catastrophic.
In the records of some of the board meetings the board’s work is described as being affected by serious conflicts and many resignations. Today, SNB’s board consists of only two board members and one deputy member, which means that it is not quorum and cannot make urgent decisions.
One of the biggest issues within the SNB board has been the renovation of the properties, where parts of the board has opposed renovations because it would require a raise in rents for the residents at Smålands Nation. A planned bank loan, and the conditions for it, has also been in dispute.
Will Try to Save the Foundation
David Olsson, who is in charge of handling the SNB commission at Länsstyrelsen, says that the authority is now in an investigating phase where they are waiting for more documents from SNB. First priority is to get a quorum, which could be helped along if Länsstyrelsen ordains new board members.
“We will try to make sure that SNB is given a board that can save the foundation and, if this is not possible, dispose of its property, says David Olsson.
Smålands Nation held a Nation meeting on 6th of March, where new people were elected into the SNB board. If these are ordained by Länsstyrelsen, the board will once again have a quorum.
On Thursday, March 16th, there is an additional Nation meeting to be held where new deputy members are to be chosen to avoid a future situation of a non-quorum board.
“We don’t share the staff’s view that we have mistreated the foundation. All this is the result of an infected conflict within the staff, which has turned into a conflict between the staff and the board”, says Björn Håkansson, head of the board of SNB.
He opens up to the possibility that the current board members could face resignation if it is required in order to win back the trust of the staff.
“Much of the turbulence is around the bank loan that we are hoping to get within the next few weeks. If we can only get the renovation of the plumbing going, I think it will calm the situation down”, says Björn Håkansson.