10 May 2016 – El Mundo
On Monday, the mayoress of Madrid, Manuela Carmena (pictured above) announced that she had been speaking with the representative from the Sustainable Urban Development team, José Manuel Calvo, to evaluate the possibility of arranging a competition to find people willing to sell their homes to the Town Hall “as cheaply as possible”, for the purpose of using them as rented social housing.
“There is a tremendous need for housing”, but the stock owned by the Municipal Housing Company (EMVS) is very limited, lamented the mayoress on her visit to Usera as part of the “One month, one district” program, where she was accompanied by the Councillor-President of Usera, Rommy Arce and a representative from Territorial Coordination, Nacho Murgui.
Carmena said that the EMVS has homes ready for emergencies, but that the Town Hall is facing “difficulties because many (of those homes) are being illegally occupied”. Solutions include approving specific modifications to the rules for accessing the EMVS’s homes and obtaining more homes for use as rental social housing.
The councillor added that all of the homes up for sale in the EMVS “have been rented out, but there are not enough properties”. Another measure that has been evaluated is the construction of homes on free plots of land, although that is a much slower process.
The mayoress offered that response after a resident of Usera realised her situation when she was evicted, after failing to pay her mortgage repayments on time on three occasions, and another resident who has also had to squat “out of necessity”.
Original story: El Mundo
Translation: Carmel Drake