Palma's councillor for decent housing, Neus Truyol

Councillor Neus Truyol, speaking on Tuesday.

07-09-2021Ajuntament de Palma

Palma's housing councillor, Neus Truyol, is warning that the town hall anticipates there being "a dramatic autumn" because of the number of evictions that are scheduled for this month - 48.

Truyol said on Tuesday that a Spanish government decree, which paralysed evictions because of the pandemic, was in force until August 9. The 198 cases that were halted in Palma are now likely to be carried out. "They will be reactivated and scheduled for the coming months."

"We will do everything necessary, presenting vulnerability reports to the courts and mediating and negotiating with the owners, but there need to be other measures." In this regard, the Spanish government needs to intervene with mechanisms, while the new national housing law must regulate rents and increase "the public housing alternative".

In many cases, she argued, banks have abandoned the social rents to which they committed a few years ago. Contracts are expiring, and banks and investment funds don't want to renegotiate.

"We are applying pressure. But as there is no regulation that punishes banks and funds if they do not act in accordance with ethical codes, we have few tools. Strong state regulations are needed when ethical codes are not complied with by the large owners, who are mainly responsible for the crisis of access to housing."

Big companies, banks and funds own most homes in Palma, and Truyol gave an example of an apartment of eighteen square metres that a bank is offering for rent at 480 euros a month. The town hall has denounced this. It is "insane and absolutely illegal."

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