Madrid builds three times more subsidized housing in nine years than Catalonia

Officially protected housing (VPO) for rent in Spain in a lost contract: Statistics hardly mention the construction of less social apartments. But these low levels have not prevented significant differences by region, such as the fact that in the Community of Madrid three times more housing of this qualification has been built than in Catalonia since 2014, despite the fact that both regions have a similar population weight. . It is one of the data that comes from the statistics of the Ministry of Transportation and the Urban Agenda, which includes a study prepared by the chair in which you participate Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Association of Promoters of Catalonia.

The document raises the issue of health symptoms experienced by social apartments: each year there are more than a dozen communities that have not completed any subsidized housing. In 2022 there were 11, but in 2018 there were 15 incumbents who started no social housing. The reason, the authors conclude, is that “administrations have not been at all effective in crafting an adequate and trustworthy system for promoters, whether public or private.”

Carles Sala, co-author of the study Promotion of housing in state plans and next generation funds Along with UPF professors José García Montalvo and Josep Maria Raya, he on Wednesday called the figures for subsidized housing in Spain “ridiculous”. And about the specific case of Madrid, where most of the VPO in Spain is built: “Still ridiculous.”

The data illustrating the study shows how 5,184 protected apartments were built in Madrid between 2014 and 2022, while the second largest community was the Basque Country, with 2,231 homes. The number of Catalonia reached 1856. The rest of the regional governments lagged behind: the fourth, the government of Navarre, remained at 766 units. In total, in the last nine years, only 11,469 protection decks have been built across Spain. If total housing is taken into account, more than 5,000 apartments in Madrid represent 0.13% of the total, while in the case of the Basque Country this figure rises to 0.21%. Catalonia falls just short of 10th (0.05%) and Navarra has the highest number, 0.25%.

Why is Madrid building more subsidized housing, in absolute numbers, than the rest of the communities? Sala explains this mainly by the fact: “There, until the approval of the Housing Code (in force since May 26), sheltered apartments did not have this qualification permanently, it was temporary, up to 15 years.” The result is that by being able to enter the free market after that period, either for rent or for sale, it was more profitable to promote it as a VPO. In other societies, such as Catalonia, That housing liberalization has been banned for nearly two decades.

Another finding of the study is that 80.2% of the reinforcement of the protective floors falls to the private sector, which is evidence of the low investment being made by the Spanish administrations despite the growing housing deficit. Public resources allocated to housing, according to the authors of the study, would have decreased by 61.5% between 2007 and 2018 despite continuous promises to promote more housing to respond to the growing demand and the escalating prices in which it is installed. .

In fact, the study deplores this lack of resources and calls for the restoration of financing measures that were fundamental to the promotion of public housing: loans eligible for promotion (agreed by the administration and banks), which expired in 2012, subsidies for these to lower interest rates and direct assistance to both promoters and providers. Successful bidders for homes that have already been built. Without restoring these tools, the report says, it will be difficult to achieve the goals set by the Housing Law, to achieve this within 20 years. 20% of the entire rental park is protected in case of so-called stress zones“This is a difficult challenge to meet, especially if budgetary allocations to public housing policies are not significantly increased,” the report reads.

15,000 social rental homes annually

Carles Sala went further, demanding that any promise to build a house be accompanied by a prior allocation of a budget. He even criticized that the state administration has saved about 4,000 million a year in spending since it chose to withdraw aid for housing purchases, which have disappeared since 2013, and rent payments to certain groups. The professor at the University of Rovira Virgili, former head of housing at the Generalitat de Catalunya, considered that it would have been a positive thing if these resources had been diverted “towards direct housing policies”.

Otherwise, the goal claimed by the Spanish people would not be possible. A UPF study indicates that, according to projections, construction of new homes will require an average of 15,000 homes per year over the next 15 years. And as the report also includes, in the last nine years barely 11,500 homes of this type have been completed.

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