4 March 2019 – Eje Prime
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has fined two investment funds €2.8 million for leaving two properties empty for more than six years on Calle de Aragó and Calle Pau Claris, in the Eixample district. The fine has been issued under the Right to Housing Act from 2007, which establishes penalties for the poor use of homes that have a social function and which ought to be inhabited.
If a property remains vacant for more than two years, its owner may be fined by between €90,000 and €900,000 per home. In total, the buildings subject to these fines comprise 24 homes.
Colau defended her housing policy and pointed out that the fines form part of a comprehensive approach by her government that includes the construction of 70 new developments, the requirement for private developers to build 30% social housing and conditioning any help for renovations on maintaining rental prices.
The fines could be reduced if the owners agree to let the Town Hall include the flats in their social housing stock.
Original story: Eje Prime
Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake