Empty properties for temporary urgent need. | Archive

The Balearic government and the Council of Mallorca have created a network of temporary housing to cover needs arising from urgent situations. The government's housing agency Ibavi has handed nine flats to the Council's social affairs institute, a number which is likely to increase, as the aim of the network is to provide accommodation for people who are left without a home.

On Thursday, the president of the Council, Catalina Cladera, stressed that it is essential that public institutions join forces in responding to social emergencies, "especially at a time like the current one". The Council, she said, is "totally involved" with Mallorca's housing policies and acts in cases of exclusion and vulnerability through the IMAS social affairs institute. This is in order to "guarantee the right to decent housing at an affordable price".

"This new network of temporary flats for urgent situations is a necessity. It enables the Council to expand social policies for housing and to prevent anyone being left on the street while looking for a stable housing solution."

The housing minister, Josep Marí, explained that the transfer of the properties to the IMAS allows emergency situations to be addressed. Ibavi can't do this through its regulated process for the list of applicants for social housing. The minister added that these flats were until recently the properties of large owners (e.g. banks) and had been acquired by the government exercising the right of first refusal. "Flats that were empty will now be for people in a particularly difficult situation."

Seven of the flats are in Palma. They are to be used for people who, for example, have been evicted because of default on mortgage or rent payments. They will be for a maximum of six months, which can be extendable in exceptional situations. People living in these flats will pay no more than 30% of their income in the form of rent.