Cities’ basic needs left out of the new state housing plan

The national housing plan for 2018-2021 has ignored the demands and needs of cities and will not include the amendments put forward by the cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza, Cádiz, La Coruña and Santiago de Compostela. The downward trend in housing policies has meant a cut of one billion euros over the last eight years.

07/03/2018 19:50 h


VIDEO. Ada Colau: “We demand longer rent contracts, guaranteed stability for tenants and an increase in the state housing budget to two billion euros this year”.

The seven city councils jointly presented a series of proposals and amendments to the state housing plan for 2018-2021, based on issues generated by the lack of investment and the fact that the lack of public housing policies on the part of the central government affects municipalities. As a result, local administrations have to deal with the consequences of indiscriminate price hikes in rents, evictions and other issues generated by the lack of an affordable public housing stock.

The combination of work culminated in December, when housing councillors from the seven city councils met with the Secretary of State for Infrastructures, Transport and Housing, Julio Gómez-Pomar, to outline their proposals for the state housing plan for 2018-2021.

The proposals have been ignored though, and because of this a joint manifesto was issued today by the municipalities calling for the following:

  1. A break in the pattern of state cuts of the last few years, which have meant a 70% cut to the housing budget. Investment should be 1.5% of GDP, starting with 2 billion euros in 2018.
  2. Spain’s public housing stock falls short of covering its citizens’ needs. It’s essential to increase the budget and Official Credit Institute (ICO) credit lines to extend the range of affordable housing.
  3. A reform to the Urban Rent Act (LAU) to extend the minimum duration of rent contracts and regulate prices.
  4. Broader creation of and access to affordable housing. New models of public land ownership are needed, such as cohousing and surface rights.
  5. Obligation for Spain’s bad bank, the SAREB, and financial entities bailed out with public money to put their properties into a social rented housing fund.
  6. Home renovation grants for small-scale owners and regulations to ensure such measures don’t mean a disproportionate rise in rent prices.
  7. Promotion of tax measures to put an end to exemptions and tax breaks for companies investing in the property market, as these have a negative effect on the rental market.

During this term of office the City Council has gone ahead with the construction of 4,400 homes, of which 3,600 will be public rented housing. The homes represent an investment of 360 million euros, funded entirely by the City Council.

At the same time, the City Council is providing over 90% of the funding for various housing policies, such as renovation grants and rental payment subsidies.

In terms of evictions, the figures in the city for the period from 2015-2017 are as follows:

Total: -19%

Mortgage: -34%

Rent: -17%

Others: -4%

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