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The role of Félagbústaðir is to rent out apartments to individuals and families who have been allocated social housing by the Reykjavík City Welfare Department. Social housing is a non-profit corporation wholly owned by the City of Reykjavík.  

More than 3,100 apartments are rented out across the city, and every year Félagsbústaðir buy a number of apartments and builds apartment complexes that meet the specific needs of tenants with disabilities. It is estimated that about 5% of apartments in the city are social rental apartments.

The City of Reykjavík is the owner of Félagsbústaðir, appoints to the company's board and sets the main lines in it's activities, such as on the proportion of social rental housing in the city and emphasis on social diversity in the city's neighborhoods. A strong emphasis is placed on rent prices being affordable for tenants.

Until 1997, the management and operation of social rental apartments was one of the city's projects. Then a change was made and a non-profit company, Félagsbústaðir hf., was established to take care of these activities; service to tenants, maintenance of real estate and development of social rental housing.  

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