On 1st February, the Council of Ministers in Spain is expected to approve the preliminary draft law for the Right to Housing which according to our member, AVS brings together a series of measures that are currently included in the housing plans, as well as in other regulatory rules mainly as a consequence of the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have spoken with Maria Montes, AVS' Vice-President who explained that the law that is scheduled for the end of the year or the beginning of 2023 'still has a long way to go' as a recent report by the General Council of Judicial Power has put a question mark to its constitutionality.
In a nutshell, the draft law says it will promote affordable housing for rent, which will be at least 50% of the land dedicated to affordable housing. In addition to that, there is a possibility that urban planning legislation will reserve 30% for affordable housing on already occupied, developed land. There will also be mechanisms that contain and lower housing rental prices, especially in “stressed market areas” prohibiting abusive rent increases in very desired neighbourhoods. Aid vouchers for young people and a regulation that sets an eviction procedure will also be established. Affordable housing would be able to be qualified as such forever, avoiding the future sale of public or social housing stock. Finally, Spain is also expecting the creation of a Housing Advisory Council.
"AVS has welcomed the government's initiative with optimism, as a positive rule for the sector. However, AVS reminds the government that the activity of public housing managers and providers is still limited by a series of regulations that represent important barriers and restrict their capacity to act," Maria Montes said. She further called for planning and execution of housing policy based on clear needs, an increase in the budget allocated to social housing, the creation of specific financing mechanisms, renovation, and an increase in the maintenance of the public housing stock.
"It will not be possible to speak about effective development of measures without the necessary economic resources. Otherwise, frustration and false expectations may arise among citizens," AVS highlighted.