Public acquisition of 170 flats to prevent their privatisationA boost to the public housing stock with the purchase of three properties from the public company Regesa. The blocks belonged to the former Barcelonès County Council and are located in the districts of Horta-Guinardó, Sants-Montjuïc and Nou Barris. The 170 flats would have fallen into private hands in a period of between 15 and 17 years, as was the case with other blocks forming part of the divestment process for the metropolitan area.
Through an investment of 10.7 million euros (17% below market value), the municipal purchase has prevented the loss of the three blocks, located at Carrer de la Mare de Déu de Port, 179-183 (La Marina, Sants-Montjuïc), Carrer de Teodor Llorente, 6-8 (Guinardó, Horta-Guinardó) and Carrer de la Selva, 59-61 (Porta, Nou Barris).
Why can public housing be privatised?
The City Council granted Regesa a free 75-year lease of municipal land for the three buildings in 2006 so that public rental housing could be built. Yet the public protection period was for 30 years, counting from the definitive classification made between 2007 and 2009, a period far shorter than the time when the lease on the use of the land would expire, in 2081.
After the three decades, these homes could have been privatised, but with the direct acquisition by the City Council the flats become publicly owned, safeguarding the right to affordable housing of all the residents renting them.
The properties acquired are practically the last to be owned by Regesa in the city, leaving some thirty remaining homes in different blocks. As these are officially protected, they can be directly purchased by the City Council or any other administration.
Loss of public housing in the city
The privatisation of housing built on public land could have been avoided in other blocks built by Regesa, which at the time were sold with leases. The last episode of this type was in 2013, when the Barcelonès County Council (made up of municipal councils in the Barcelonès area) sold the lease on 298 homes to the investment fund Azora rather than any public administration. The homes were rental flats with a protection period slightly below the duration of the lease.