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SOHA action group aims to change law so they can borrow and sell their homes

Mario Blancke speaking at a previous SOHA meeting (file image)
Mario Blancke speaking at a previous SOHA meeting (file image) / SUR
  • The owners campaigning to have their illegally-built properties in the Axarquía made legal also want Junta to help speed up special AFO approval

The Save Our Homes in Axarquia (SOHA) association has set out two main goals in its on-going campaign to help its members legalise houses built on rural land after local town halls illegally granted planning permission.

The first objective is to support the reform of Spain's mortgage legislation (Ley Hipotecaria). According to SOHA spokesperson, Mario Blancke, who is also mayor of the Axarquía village of Alcaucín, home owners are faced with a serious problem if they want to borrow money as mortgage legislation and other financial rules prevent homes not part of an approved town plan being used as loan guarantees. Neither are banks prepared to grant mortgages to any prospective buyers for the properties so sales have to be in cash.

He also explained that the second objective of the group will be to work with the Junta so that the regional government speeds up the cancellation of the old planning permissions by town halls, which is a precondition on the homes then being given "officially-tolerated" status outside the legal town plans, (Assimilación a Fuera de Ordenación, or AFO).

The group's annual general meeting will be held on 26 January.