“HSB och bostadspolitiken 1997-2022” (in loose translation, “HSB and Swedish Housing Policy 1997-2022”) is the seventh edition in housing cooperative HSB’s ongoing historical series. It picks up where the previous six editions by HSB legend Owe Lundevall left off. The book is commissioned by HSB and produced by us at the Center for Business History
Longtime HSB employee Owe Lundewall wrote six volumes about “HSB and Swedish Housing Policy” during the 1990s. The sixth volume covered up to the year 1997, and as HSB approached its 100th anniversary this year, they wanted to continue with a seventh volume covering the past 25 years. They commissioned us at the Center for Business History, which also manages HSB’s historical archives, to research, write and publish the book under our imprint, Förlaget Näringslivshistoria.
As the publication coincides with HSB’s centennial celebration, the book also includes an overview of the organization’s long and eventful history. An organization that, for 100 years, has shaped, developed, and contributed to good, affordable housing for millions of Swedes.
The book builds on HSB’s own historical archive material, deposited with us at the Center for Business History. The archive is unique in Sweden, containing material from and about the Swedish housing market spanning over 100 years. The archive includes documents such as letters, notes, protocols, investigations, purchase documents, and especially photographs. Thanks to the archive and the role HSB has played in society, the book (and its predecessors) provides a fascinating and in-depth insight into the development of the Swedish housing market and housing policy.
About the book
The years 1997–2022 are characterized by two distinct periods, the first being when HSB “reclaims the difference,” and the second involving a comprehensive journey of transformation. In the spring of 1997, HSB appointed its first female president, Gun-Britt Mårtensson. During her ten-year tenure, HSB embarked on an extensive effort to clarify its unique role in the Swedish housing market. This role is built upon the five core values summarized as ETHOS: Engagement, Security, Sustainability, Consideration, and Collaboration (or in Swedish: Engagemang, Trygghet, Hållbarhet, Omtanke och Samverkan.)
The change process had its starting point in three clear global trends: digitization, regulatory compliance, and sustainability. Digitizing operations has been a crucial tool to maintain competitiveness. The substantial resources required to finance this necessary development work ultimately led to a new organizational structure for HSB at the national level in 2017.