14 September 2015 – El Economista
Today, the Spanish banks will sign an agreement with the Government to increase the number of homes in the Social Housing Fund (‘Fondo Social de Vivienda or FSV) by 3,000. The FSV initiative was created to respond to the needs of families made vulnerable by the economic crisis.
The changes to the agreement will not only increase the number of homes, but will also extend the scope of the fund, according to reports from the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness.
This addition of 3,000 homes is equivalent to a 50% increase in the size of the existing FSV, taking the total to 9,000 homes. The expansion of the fund is the result of meetings held on the subject between the Ministry of the Economy and representatives of the major Spanish banks.
Until now, the social fund comprised a stock of almost 6,000 homes, of which less than half have been rented out. The FSV was created in 2013 using homes that had been foreclosed by the banks, to make them available to vulnerable families in special situations that had been evicted from their own properties for failing to keep up with their mortgage repayments since 1 January 2008.
The terms of these leases, provided by 33 entities in total, include: a rental income of between €150 and €400 per month, up to a maximum limit of 30% of the household’s combined net income; and a lease term of two years, extendable to three years in certain cases.
To access the initiative, the total monthly income of a household may not exceed the limit of three times the Multiplier of the Public Income Index (IPREM) (i.e. €1,579 under the current IPREM) and none of the family members may own their own home.
Profile of the families
FSV homes are mainly allocated to large families, single-parent families with two or more dependent children, families that have a disabled family member, families that do not qualify for unemployment benefit and families that include a family member that has suffered from domestic violence.
In February, the creators of the FSV decided to extend its term for another year, until January 2016, after it had been in force for 2 years. During that time it provided assistance to 1,465 families who had found themselves in a vulnerable situation as a result of the economic crisis.
The Fund was launched on 17 January 2013 by agreement between the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness; the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality; the Ministry of Development; the major banks in the country and their associations; the FEMP; and the platform of the tertiary sector.
Original story: El Economista
Translation: Carmel Drake