Palma's housing councillor, Neus Truyol, is insisting that the Spanish government provides town halls with the legal means to regulate the price of rented accommodation and extends the suspension of evictions beyond the state of alarm (which is scheduled to end on May 9).
On Tuesday, Truyol stressed the urgency of measures to stop Palma's housing emergency, which "is growing every day". She noted that unemployment in Palma has risen by 43% because of the crisis. Incomes have been cut, but the average cost to rent fell by no more than nine per cent last year. Between 2013 and 2019 it rose by 55%.
Truyol pointed to regulation in other cities, giving the example of Berlin. At the end of 2020, a limit of 9.8 euros per square metre was set. The average in Palma is twelve euros. "A 45-square-metre flat in Berlin which previously cost around 600 euros a month is now 300 euros."
The councillor appealed to the regional housing ministry to create a common front of town halls in pressing the Spanish government for the tools to regulate the rented accommodation market.
"Housing is a basic asset; it cannot be a speculative asset." She once more accused large owners, such as banks, for being responsible for the serious housing situation. "If they had acted with responsibility, identified all their properties and put them on the market at a reasonable price, we would not be in this situation."