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Barcelona offers €1,200 a month to house hard-pressed families in empty tourist lets
08 July 2020 @ 20:58

BARCELONA city council is offering up to €1,200 a month to owners of tourist apartments which remain empty so they can house vulnerable families in them.

Mayoress Ada Colau says: “We cannot allow poor families to live in hostels or guest houses or barely-habitable flats with their children, when there are thousands of empty tourist apartments in the city.”

She had written to the Barcelona Tourist Apartments' Association (APARTUR), initially offering €900 a month in rent paid by the council on behalf of the low-income families who would be settled there – but of the 9,000 or so holiday flats in the metropolitan area, only the owners of two of them signed up.

As a result, Sra Colau has increased the offer to €1,200.

She says the price proposed is 'advantageous' and 'more than reasonable', especially bearing in mind that they come with 'stable rental contracts at a time of crisis and uncertainty', where visitor numbers may well be much lower than usual due to the pandemic – and many of the apartments may end up being uninhabited all summer, losing their owners money.

“The agreement is beneficial for property owners, taking the Covid-19 situation into account, and also for hard-pressed residents who need decent, dignified alternative housing and which they have trouble gaining access to – and who also need somewhere to self-isolate if there's another outbreak,” Colau says.

“This is an opportunity for the property rental sector to earn good money whilst serving the community.”

Even if they were able to afford a very modest flat to rent, Barcelona's poorest families would be priced out of the market in summer, when owners can earn more in a week through renting to holidaymakers than they would in a month the rest of the year.

“Now is a time when it's more crucial than ever to reinforce cooperation between authorities and the private sector,” Colau argues.

Councillor for housing, Lucía Martín, stresses that the city hall's intention is 'evidently not to cover the profits' which tourist apartment owners may lose if visitor numbers fall this summer.



Like 0


jamiemalone said:
10 July 2020 @ 11:13

Well, that's communism for you

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