17 January 2019 – La Vanguardia
Barcelona is going to reserve eight plots on which to build around 512 social housing units for young people, the elderly and other groups with social needs, together with public facilities, through a Modification of the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM).
The Town Hall of Barcelona’s Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility approved the revised MPGM to incorporate those 8 plots into the social housing system yesterday, with votes in favour from the municipal government, the Demòcrata, ERC and CUP groups, and the unassigned councillors Gerard Ardanuy and Joanjo Puigcorbé. There were abstentions from Cs, PSC and PP.
According to a statement from the town hall, the plots are located in Gràcia (2), Ciutat Vella (2), Eixample (2), Sants-Montjuïc (1) and Horta-Guinardó (1).
Four of the plots are owned in their entirety by the municipality, whilst the town hall will acquire the two that are completely private as well as the private plot of another site of which it is only part owner.
The eighth plot is on Via Laietana, 8-10, and currently houses the headquarters of the National Institute of Statistics and the Electoral Census Office, which is owned by the Town Hall of Barcelona and several other public administrations.
Specifically, this new plan proposes incorporating the plots into the housing system, which also includes plans for facilities on the ground floors.
The procedure is based on the fact that the law allows a maximum of 5% of land classified as local public facilities to be dedicated to social housing.
On the basis of the land that this MPGM is activating, the actions carried out and/or forecast in the current plan represent approximately 2.81% of the plots only, according to reports from the Town Hall.
This MPGM now enters a period of public consultation for one month and so its provisional approval in the Plenary of the Municipal Council and definitive approval by the Sub-Committee for Urban Planning in Barcelona, a body of La Generalitat, could be completed before the end of the mandate of the mayor Ada Colau.
This is the second MPGM that the municipal government has carried out in the current mandate to activate plots to build social housing.
In December 2016, the Town Hall approved a first plan that reserved six plots for the development of 519 homes. Specifically, two of those were located in Gràcia, two in Sant Martí, one in Sants-Montjuïc and another in Horta-Guinardó.
Original story: La Vanguardia
Translation: Carmel Drake