The Government forces banks to offer a rental to the vulnerable people who have occupied their flats

the government of the Generalitat has approved this Monday in its council of government a new decree on urgent measures on housing to tackle the lack of rental

The Government forces banks to offer a rental to the vulnerable people who have occupied their flats

the government of the Generalitat has approved this Monday in its council of government a new decree on urgent measures on housing to tackle the lack of rental and social housing of official protection. The decree, which the Government has negotiated with the socialists and with the common to achieve recognition in the Parliament, contains powerful recognition to the claims of social entities, such as, for example, the obligation to large bondholders --banks and investment funds-- to provide a social rented seven-year to the people in situation of social vulnerability who have occupied an apartment for more than six months. The decree, at the same time, is a nod to the private developers, who were asked to update the rates to make more attractive the construction of housing of social protection.


The Government may expropriate floors of banks that carry two years of empty

While the counselor of Territory and Sustainability, Damià Calvet, presented the decree to the government of Quim Torra for his approval --which must be validated in the Parliament in the period of a month--, in the plaza de Sant Jaume, the activists of the Platform of Affected by Mortgages (PAH) celebrated as a great victory to the entry into force of the urgent measures to improve the access to housing. The decree strengthens some of the laws on housing above, and particularly means an extension of the law 24/2015 in terms of access to housing by the most vulnerable groups.

The way to get ahead of this decree, that, according to Calvet now enjoys a wide consensus, has been tortuous. The holder of Territory, Junts per Catalunya, already tried to pass a decree on housing in the past month of April, although at the last minute pulled it to see that it had not achieved consensus in the Parliament for approval. On that occasion, the electoral context and the competition between the partners of the Government --ERC had also prepared a decree from the department of Justice relating to the limitation of rents, which also prospered--, scuppered the attempt. This time, Calvet has secured the support to prepare it in collaboration with social entities, the promoters and, above all, with the parliamentary groups of the PSC and common, the two parties that, along with JxCat and CKD, which represent the majority of the city Councils of the territory.

"The decree operates in three large blocks: to combat emergency situations-residential, to increase the number of protected housing on a rental basis, and contribute to the moderation of the rent prices in the private houses," he explained Calvet in the press conference after the council of Government.

In the first block, to combat the emergency situation and evacuations, the decree includes the obligation for large shareholders to provide a social rented seven years for families who prove, by a report of the social services, their situation of vulnerability. To provide a social rented will be mandatory for these families so if you end the lease, as if they are in the process of eviction, or if they are families who have occupied his apartment in the period prior to six months of the approval of the decree. The social rentals, in accordance with the Law of Urban Leases approved by the State Government this year, is extended from three to five or seven years, depending on if the owner is a natural person or a legal entity.

Another of the measures to reduce the bureau of emergency housing, which in Catalonia is down for the waiting list, is to allow the construction of temporary shelters in soils, public or private, that are designed to equipment. These accommodations do not have a certificate of occupancy and therefore are temporary, and will be managed by the municipalities. The Barcelona city Council already premiered this month the first accommodations built with containers in the port in the floor of the equipment.

In the first block of measures also include the expansion of mechanisms for fine or expropriate empty buildings with unfinished works, in order to recruit them to the rental company; and also extended the term, up to 2027, for Municipalities, institutions and the government to exercise the right of pre-emption in housing, a right that is extended so that the Generalitat can apply in second and third transmissions of housing purchased previously by large holders.

More soil intended for protected housing

The decree also provides for measures to expand the land allocated to the park of social housing. For a start, it requires the Councils to develop in a year an inventory of public assets in housing and land, and in two years will have to submit a plan to develop it. The department of planning estimates that there is in Catalonia a potential 172.000-subsidised housing. The new decree also raises widen the pool of social housing in soil: in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, the reserve will be a minimum of 40% in developable land delimited (the new urban development of the cities) and 40% in urban land not consolidated (within the city but needs planning). These percentages will be at least 50% and 40%, respectively, in the other Catalan municipalities, from the year that comes when the approval of the Territorial Plan, sector-by-Sector Housing.

The decree also stipulates that the houses of official protection have a rating of permanent in most cases. And, in practice, the decree also updates the rate-of-sale and rental housing of official protection by simplifying the modules and merges them in each municipality. The price, therefore, will be unique in each municipality and in the case of the metropolitan area of Barcelona there will only be one price for all of its municipalities. This was one of the claims of the promoters.

Finally, Calvet has claimed the Benchmark Index of rental prices as a tool of the government to foster a moderation in rental prices. This index is taken as a reference for public policy, and should be displayed in all advertisements and contracts of chartering private.

Occupy when there is no more remedy

Activists of the PAH, on Monday in the plaza of Sant Jaume.

The approval of the new decree has been a great news for the entities that support access to housing of the most vulnerable people. This morning in the plaza de Sant Jaume, while the PAH was celebrating the success, a woman explained her case. Mariana, with two children, had been paying a rent to a person who claimed to be the owner of the apartment, until an eviction documentfacilitated by the real owner, an investment fund, we revealed the truth. Mariana has a report that proves their situation of social vulnerability, and decided to stay on the floor in spite of having no title to a tenant. The new decree obliges the entity to provide a social lease. Another case is that of Karima, a woman who lived in a local business without a certificate of occupancy, and that this circumstance was denied entry in the table of emergency. In this situation, the PAH occupied floors of a building in the calle de Aragon, the property of an investment fund. The families living in this building will have to receive a social rented.

Date Of Update: 25 December 2019, 19:00