Spain is facing housing problems of “stunning proportions” that are hitting people already struggling without jobs and sufficient benefits, said the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. I don´t think anyone will be too surprised by the findings of this report from the United Nations, especially as rents continue to rise and earnings remain low, despite the governments increase in the minimum wage. The housing crisis is especially pronounced in places like Ibiza where renting a single room can cost more than 1,000 euros per month.

There is a shortage of relatively cheap housing especially across the Balearics where rents and property prices are higher than the national average. The minimum wage is still lower than the cost of the rent per month of a normal family home. Some sections of the business community have criticised the government for increasing the minimum wage because they claim that it could destroy jobs rather than create them; higher working costs could mean that companies think twice about recruitment. Spain for many years has had the highest rate of unemployment of any country in the European Union.

Also, there is another major problem, many of the jobs are lowly paid and seasonal. The left-wing Spanish government coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has promised to try and address this problem. There is much work to do and unless the Spanish government embarks on a major house building programme, the housing problem will continue. The UN report is certainly good for thought.