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The squatted site opposite the Baños del Carmen. Salvador Salas
Squatters in building on prime site in one of most exclusive areas of Malaga city evicted due to risk of it collapsing
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Squatters in building on prime site in one of most exclusive areas of Malaga city evicted due to risk of it collapsing

Five adults and a child lived in the property, which was left half-built years ago

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 15:41

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Squatters living inside a building in one of the most exclusive areas of Malaga, opposite the Baños del Carmen, have been ordered to leave due to risk of collapse.

According to Malaga city council's urban planning department, the building, located at Avenida del Pintor Joaquín Sorolla, 62, which has striking metal slats on its façade and a billboard on the side facing the access to Cerrado de Calderón, was left half-built years ago and is a danger to anyone inside. It sparked the eviction of squatters on Tuesday 23 April, with bricking up of the property later carried out.

The plot, some 424 square metres, is recorded in the council's file as containing a "demolished house".

Five people lived there until this week, in some cases for two decades. The ground floor was inhabited by Isidro, who presents himself as the former caretaker of the building. On the first floor, the rooms were divided between Romo and the Jadilla family, with her husband, daughter and three-year-old grandson Adam.

Isidro Jácome, inside his home shortly before being evicted.
Isidro Jácome, inside his home shortly before being evicted. Salvador Salas

The family has been offered rehousing in a hostel until they find another home, and the two men have been offered to go to a shelter in Calle Góngora. "I don't know what we are going to do, if we go to a tent in the street, with the child, they tell us this is mistreatment and it can't be like this, but they don't give us a solution. All we are asking for is a room in a council flat," the woman said. "I can't get a rent because I only have one allowance, I ask them to find us a rent and I pay it, even if I have to go without food, but the only option they give us is ruin, that we go out on the street."

"I will have to sleep in my car"

Isidro said: "Twenty years ago, the owner gave me the opportunity to take care of it, because many squatters came in, there were problems and the police had to come all the time". "The town hall is processing me for social housing, but until they call me I will have to sleep in my car," he added.

Romo rejected the social worker's proposal to spend a few days in the municipal centre for the homeless. "I have my things in the car, but I'd rather go to the beach with a tent than to the shelter, the reality is that I have nowhere else to go."

The eviction is for safety reasons, following a report by the municipal urban planning department, according to town hall sources. Social Rights carried out a previous visit and found there were people occupying the property, which is privately owned. Of these, according to sources, one man has left, and another man and family (a married couple, their daughter and son) are going to receive a support benefit.

In addition to the ruin file, which will force the demolition of the site, Urbanismo is finalising the procedures for the expropriation of the property, "as the surface area is classified as general metropolitan system and local road system". Part of the land is in the footprint of a station on line three of the metro to El Palo, in case it is finally decided to build one. In addition, city hall has also planned an underground car park under part of the building, and the site now occupied by the car wash.

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