President Armengol handing the keys to one of the new tenants. | Jaume Morey


The tenants of nineteen newly built social housing homes in Palma were handed the keys on Thursday and their joy was such that one said that it felt like winning the Christmas Lottery.

Built by the Balearic government's Ibavi housing agency on land in the El Amanecer neighbourhood that was ceded by Palma town hall, the rents vary according to size of property. Jennifer León and Óscar Cabeza, parents of three children aged 13, 9 and 3, will be leaving their current apartment in Son Roca. A chambermaid and a heating technician, they will pay 800 euros per month, Jennifer noting that apartments are otherwise very expensive. "They want a minimum of 1,200 euros and up to 1,400." And they aren't necessarily up to the standards of these new properties. Each one has a balcony or patio, which can be a rare commodity.

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Antonio Boyero said that his place is warm with no need for heating. "I really like the neighbourhood and the house." He suffered a stroke that prevented him from climbing stairs, and for that reason he went on the Ibavi waiting list.

Tania Campos, her partner Antonio and three children are moving into a home that is "beautiful". "When Ibavi called me, I cried," said Tania. "And now we're moving in this weekend."

President Armengol, Catalina Cladera, the president of the Council of Mallorca, and José Hila, the mayor of Palma, were there to hand over the keys. Armengol said that "never has so much been invested in public housing". "Once the machinery has started, it cannot be stopped. We do not want more luxury homes but ones that the middle and working classes can access."