Very little public housing has been built in recent years. | E. C.


Palma is to get 1,200 new homes priced between 150,000 and 200,000 euros. These form part of an agreement announced earlier this week for public housing, with 14,000 new homes to be built in the Balearics.

Luis Martín, president of the Proinba property developers association, explains that these homes will have "a determined maximum price, which has not been modified since 2008". The Balearic government has agreed to increase the price of VPO protected housing from 1,940 to 2,386 euros per square metre, largely to take account of the rising cost of materials. The new homes will, on average, be 75 square metres and have two bedrooms.

Cris Ballester, the government's director-general of housing, says that the construction of protected housing all but ceased in 2008. She adds that there is a sector of the population that is not at risk of vulnerability but cannot afford free market prices either. Over the past 14 years, an average of 145 protected homes have been built per year, compared with 2,000 for the open market.

Neus Truyol, Palma's councillor for the model of the city, says that this week's agreement "may be interesting but it is not enough". "The construction industry has specialised in luxury housing and has made a very significant profit. It owes Palma a debt to make affordable housing available and cannot expect the government to make changes."