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Pedro Sanchez announces more flats to ease the rental crisis. EFE
Spanish PM promises to finance 43,000 flats to ease rental crisis

Spanish PM promises to finance 43,000 flats to ease rental crisis

The extra homes, aimed at low-income young people and families, are in addition to another 50,000 announced earlier

Paula de las Heras

Madrid

Friday, 21 April 2023

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Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez boasted this week of a new housing plan which could see up to 43,000 new flats developed or refurbished to ease the country’s rental crisis.

These homes would be in addition to the government’s plans announced last weekend to make up to 50,000 foreclosed homes held by Spain's bad bank Sareb available for affordable rent. This means that in just four days the government promised 93,000 properties aimed at helping young people and low-income families access their own homes.

In Congreso on Wednesday, 19 April, the Spanish prime minister announced four billion euros to finance, through cheap government ICO loans, the development of the extra 43,000 flats for affordable rent.

It was part of Spain’s plan to help millions of young adults still living with their parents to rent their own homes by offering properties abandoned when its housing market collapsed a decade ago.

The rising cost of rent has become a key campaign issue as Spain gears up for regional ballots on 28 May and a general election later this year.

But Sánchez's latest announcement on the issue was described by the opposition PP as a "reheated dish".

Its spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, questioned the initiative’s credibility after seeing what had been left of Sánchez's promise to make 50,000 foreclosed homes available for affordable rent.

Economy minister Nadia Calviño had clarified that only 9,000 were ready to move into, 12,000 were being worked on due to their poor condition and could take about nine months, another 14,000 were already occupied and 15,000 flats were still unbuilt.

In Spain, only 16 per cent of young people live independently, compared to an average of 32 per cent in Europe, according to a monitoring organisation.

The government’s plan for 93,000 homes follows a previous promise of 100,000 new affordable homes, which is yet to be fulfilled.

Sánchez said on Wednesday that 60,000 of them were "built or under construction", but did not elaborate further. "There is a long way to go, a long way to go and that requires not three or four years but a decade of progressive governments," he said.

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