The Decree Housing Law contains measures to prevent homelessness.

The Decree Housing Law contains measures to prevent homelessness.

23-04-2013M. CARRERAS

A new Draft Housing Law will force banks to find a home for anyone being evicted for not paying their mortgage and the rent must not exceed 30% of their income.

The President of the Government, Francina Armengol, and the Minister of Habitat, Marc Pons, unveiled the content of the Decree to members of the Mesa de l’Habitatge on Monday and want to approve it this Friday.

The package contains 25 "very powerful" measures aimed at expanding public housing stock and protecting the most vulnerable groups.

"We have to take measures to make housing policy a state policy," said Francia Armengol.

Social rentals

The aim is to provide homes for those who are being evicted by transferring public housing to Social Services.

Most of the new measures are related to obtaining public land for new public housing and one of the proposals is to transfer land to developers to build homes and manage them for up to 75 years.

There are also proposals to combat the collection of housing stock by the so-called ‘vulture funds’ and once the decree law has been approved, the Government will have the right of preemptive purchase when complete buildings which contain rented homes are sold.

Banks and large holders

The measures are designed to give the Government first refusal on all real estate derived from foreclosures.

The idea is to prevent banks from disposing of the real estate assets obtained through evictions and selling them to investment funds. The Government will also be able to acquire classified land for the construction of VPO. Until now, it could only exercise that right over officially protected dwellings, not over land.

All of these measures will be reinforced by proposals to tighten the sanctioning regime. The Government will increase the amount of sanctions if empty houses are not added to the public register with specific penalties for each dwelling.

In a bid to speed up administrative procedures related to the construction and rehabilitation of homes, the Consell will have the power to approve licences for the construction of protected housing.

Administration

The Executive also reserves the right to approve the management of all publicly owned land for the promotion of protected housing and the creation of an expediting table for administrative processing.

The objective is to reduce administrative deadlines for licencing and improve dialogue between the Government, the Councils, the Municipalities and Professional Associations.

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