10 minutes with... María Montes, the President of the Spanish Social Housing Association (AVS)
Meet the faces behind the mission-oriented housing providers across EuropeSpain, 23 January 2023
Maria Montes is a very well-known face within the Housing Europe network. At the moment, she is the only woman on the Board of the Federation, has been leading the housing company Viviendas del Principado de Asturias (VIPASA) for years, and since a bit more than a year, has become the President of our Spanish member, AVS. This is why we decided to invite her for our latest '10 minutes with...' blitz interview which gives you a good idea of the leaders within our network.
I would describe AVS in 10 words as the home for professionals in the Spanish public housing sector.
Our key objective is to encourage the activity of public housing promoters and managers to guarantee access to decent housing for the most disadvantaged groups.
Apart from housing provision, our mission aims to support our members with technical knowledge, through a variety of different tools: training, and exchange of information in the framework of specific working groups, such as legal, technical, social, economic, renovation, and public services management groups; to contribute to the comprehensive regeneration of environments and neighbourhoods, in order to promote the transformation of cities so that they become more sustainable, inclusive, friendlier and more liveable.
We are part of Housing Europe because it is the think tank of public, social, and cooperative housing in Europe and because of its active defense of the sector's interests. The added value of Housing Europe for AVS is inestimable, both in terms of technical support, information exchange, best practice forum, and political influence for the benefit of our sector.
Housing is considered to be in Spain the fifth pillar of the Welfare State (at least in theory...).
Our key partners in the country are policymakers, professional associations, independent experts in public management and housing, and research and technology centres.
Our main housing policy priority is to seize the opportunity of the next generation funds for the renovation and construction of more and better public and affordable rental housing.
The major challenge for the country today is to keep our welfare state, our legal framework, and our values as a country with safeguards.
I start my working day with a cup of hot coffee with some colleagues at the office.
After leaving the office, I usually enjoy a walk with my dog Sienna.
Currently, I am reading "The Thursday murder club" while listening to Michael Bublé.
I move around walking as often as I can.
I prefer having on my table a variety of products included in the Mediterranean diet, and, of course, “chorizo”, cheese and a glass of good Spanish wine.