The measure was promoted by organisations standing up for the right to dignified and adequate housing and sets aside 30% of all new-build homes and major renovations for affordable housing. The majority of municipal political groups support the initiative, meaning it should be approved at the next full council meeting on 28 September.
The representatives from municipal groups supporting the measure appeared alongside the spokespeople from the promoting group, made up of the Federation of Barcelona Residents’ Associations (FAVB), the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH), the Observatory of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (DESC), the Assembly of Neighbourhoods for Sustainable Tourism (ABTS) and the Tenants’ Union.
The initiative, which involves the private sector, will affect new buildings and major renovation projects of more than 600 square metres. Consequently, private property promoters are being made jointly responsible when it comes to guaranteeing dignified and adequate homes.
The setting aside of 30% represents an increase to the public housing stock, particularly in central neighbourhoods more prone to property speculation and gentrification and where the lack of land makes it difficult to build protected flats. The measure is accompanied by a declaration designating the whole city as an area where the City Council has right of first refusal. This gives the administration preferential purchase rights on plots of land and buildings, this 30% of protected homes included, in order to boost the pool of public housing.
The reserve of 30% is expected to mean 330 new affordable flats every year, a figure which should help combat abusive price hikes in rents, which make it more difficult to keep community ties intact.
The modification to the General Metropolitan Plan enabling the measure to be implemented is being debated today by the Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, before being submitted for definitive approval by the full council. The majority of political groups have already shown their support and are expected to approve the initiative. Once the measure goes through it will then be submitted for definitive approval by the Sub-commission for Urban Planning in Barcelona.