“We are going to make access to housing a right, no longer a problem. » Socialist Pedro Sánchez, head of Spain’s government, announced in parliament on Wednesday April 19 that he would invest 4 billion euros, aiming to finance the construction of 43,000 low-rent homes, promising to build homes. “The Fifth Pillar of the Welfare State”.
High debt, social exclusion and the impossible emancipation of young people: a month before municipal and regional elections on May 28, the left-wing government is determined to increase its response to the housing crisis and make it one of the main campaign issues. Themes..
The cabinet on Tuesday, April 18, approved the mobilization of some 20,000 homes owned by Sareb, a public body created in 2013 to absorb thousands of toxic properties seized by banks following the 2008 financial crisis and real estate boom. Sold to regions and municipalities for use as social housing. Almost 14,000 people, already living in households in vulnerable circumstances, will benefit from lower rents. 15,000 can be built on land provided by the administration.
“Spain is the fourth country in Europe where families have to devote more money to their accommodation”, remembers Pedro Sanchez on April 17. In the Madrid region, a minimum wage earner spends an average of 65% of his income on housing, according to the Provivienda Association’s Accessible Housing Observatory. In Catalonia or the Balearic Islands, this figure reaches 50%.
More social housing
Faced with this situation, the Parliament should also give its approval by the end of this month “Democracy’s First Housing Act” Spanish. After more than a year of stalling, the final text was vetted by the Socialist Party and the far-left party Unidas Podemos, which will rule in coalition and in a minority, and their allies in parliament, the Basque and Catalan independence parties.
As happened after the 2008 financial crisis, the text raises rents, prohibits the sale of public housing to hedge funds, gives tax breaks to landlords who reduce rents and allows town halls to raise property taxes on vacant apartments.
The government aims to bring about 20% of the total, public rental housing. A challenge is knowing that Spain currently has 2.5% social housing, more than the European (9%) or French (16%) average.
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