Acquisition of a building in Poble-sec to increase the affordable housing stockBarcelona City Council has exercised its right to first refusal in order to prevent property speculation with homes at C/ Elkano 61, in the Poble-sec neighbourhood. The company Anida Operaciones Singulares SA, linked to the BBVA bank, was planning to sell the building to the companies Sky Holdings 2005 SL and Dirot Spain 13 SL. The acquisition involves a municipal investment of 2.8 million euros, corresponding to the purchase price and the work needed to condition some of the flats.
VIDEO. Laura Perez: “Increasing the city’s stock of public housing is always good news, particularly in the Poble-sec neighbourhood, one of the worst hit by gentrification. The acquisition of the Elkano building ensures eight families can carry on living in the neighbourhood”.
The acquisition by Barcelona City Council puts the brakes on a potentially speculative sale. It also represents a step forward in increasing the stock of affordable rented property using all means available, such as the expropriation of empty flats, measures to get privately owned flats offered at affordable rents and the use of the right to first refusal in high demand areas with tenants in vulnerable situations.
The City Council will now be formalising the rental contracts with families living in the flats, according to each of their social and economic situations. Repair and improvement work will also be carried out in some of the flats, mainly in kitchens and bathrooms.
Other building acquisitions in Sants-Montjuïc
In June 2017, the City Council purchased the building at C/ Leiva 37, on that occasion exercising a repurchasing right. The move prevented the purchase planned by the investment fund Vauras Investment SL. The company selling the property was again Anida Operaciones Singulares. The families who were tenants in this building in the neighbourhood of Hostafrancs, with fourteen homes, had publicly denounced they were being subjected to mobbing.
Another acquisition, formalised in January this year, was the building at C/ Rossend Arús 36-38, in the Sants neighbourhood. In this case, the acquisition was made using the right to first refusal. The building was bought from the financial entity Building Center SAU. The four flats in the building are to be renovated via a publicly tendered masoveria urbana agreement, with tenants doing up the homes in return for living in them.
Elsewhere, the City Council has acquired four flats in different buildings in the neighbourhoods of Marina de Port, Poble-sec and Hostafrancs (two from the Banc Sabadell and the other two from the BBVA). At the same time, the City Council also has the lease on fourteen flats around the district from two financial entities, eight from SAREB and two from Building Center SAU.
Between acquisitions and surface rights, the City Council has thus purchased 52 flats in Sants-Montjuïc (out of the total of 493 purchased around the city, representing an overall investment of 40 million euros). In the same vein, 136 flats for private rent in the district have been made available at affordable rents, meaning Sants-Montjuïc currently has a total of 1,386 flats rented below market rates, equating to 1.78% of the entire stock of rented homes in the district.