Habitatge has bought 23 social flats and has another six pending deed

In the coming weeks, the Municipal Housing and Urban Actions Service (Smhausa) will practically exhaust the two million euros for the purchase of social housing that the City Council enabled with the remainder of the last two budgets. The piggy bank will be almost empty after the next visits to the notary with which the president of this public company, Eva Miguel, will formalize the purchase of another six flats that she will later 'cede' to Serveis Socials to serve the most vulnerable users.

These six homes pending registration will be added to a list with another 23 floors that the Department of Habitatge –through Smhausa– has bought in the times and that make up the bone of an incipient public park. At the moment, this still presents important "deficits", according to the councillor. Despite this, the municipal technicians follow with interest any procedure that is opened by trial and error to increase this Values public.

During this period, technicians Smhausa have been interested in the purchase of 34 homesthat have resulted in visits to the properties to check if they met the established requirements and if the price was adjusted to what they could pay. Finally, they will result in around thirty purchase and sale operations, distributed throughout the different neighborhoods of the city, with the Bottom the area where this figure is highest. A total of ten homes have been purchased in this area. This high number is explained because in this case, the City Council acquired an entire building on Smith Street in which there were seven floors. Of these, three were rented, one was squatted, and the other three were empty. "The employed have been regularized and Smhausa becomes the administrator of the entire farm," explains the manager of this public company, Jordi Dies.

The purchase of an entire building is not common in operations of these characteristics, since it is normally independent apartments from foreclosures that can be purchased in this way. However, this has made it possible to act on various problems of an attack, while an entire building has been rehabilitated in one of the most degraded areas.

After Part Baixa, the neighborhoods in which the most flats have been bought are Bonavista and Saint Peter and Saint Paulwith three each, while in Sant Salvador and Eixample there are two, plus another pending deed in the latter area. In Rio Claro, La Floresta and Torreforta there is an apartment bought this way in each of the neighbourhoods. As for the new additions, in addition to one in the downtown area, another two will enter Torreforta and one in the Part Alta.

Habitatge regrets being tied "hands and feet" to respond to the housing emergency

Miguel assures that "we try to distribute game while waiting to be able to develop other ways so that we can have a decent public housing stock beyond trial and error." This mechanism is not simple. The Catalan Housing Agency throws a notification when there is an owner who opens this option. The Generalitat has the purchasing preference, followed by the town halls and third sector entities. When these homes meet certain parameters of price, square meters and in accordance with the requirements that have been set, a visit is made, which allows a more accurate assessment of the works that will have to be done and if the investment that it will entail is affordable. . Only cases with a favorable report end with a deed of sale. And it is from there, when all these procedures have been completed and the necessary works have been carried out, that Social services and makes the assignment to a user with emergency housing needs. "Despite the fact that we have had a budget that has allowed us to expand the housing stock, the objective is that these families do not stay on the street and the room for maneuver that we have as a City Council is what it is," says Miguel. The high demand does not allow these apartments to enter the mediation market, which is one of the tools that the local administration relies on to influence the price of rental apartments. "This would be the ideal scenario, but at the moment we are not in this situation," says Miguel.

The goal is that there may be rotation on these floors. For this reason, the users of these homes will participate in a support and emancipation program with the aim of leaving this situation of vulnerability and that they can become independent, opening the door to the entry of new families.

This process of searching for new homes will have to be interrupted because the available item will have been exhausted. When the last pending operations have just been closed, a total count of the available resources will have to be made, since the exemption from public taxes contemplates a 100% bonus for the Property Transfer Tax in these cases and it was not counted on. However, these additional resources are not expected to have a high impact. And the concern is heightened because as of December 31, the moratorium that prohibits evictions expires. “Although we all know that they have not stopped, it is true that we do not have the enormous avalanche but that they are entering in a dropper, but we do not know what can happen and here, as a local administration, we are tied hand and foot”, Miguel certifies.

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