"We are rebuilding a historical grievance and getting back public housing in Turó de la Peira"

26/11/2018 - 09:39

Housing. The City Council of Barcelona inaugurates the development of “El Turó”, with 100 officially protected homes in the district of Nou Barris

The Nou Barris district now has 100 new official public housing flats located in the Turó de la Peira neighbourhood. The development, located between the streets of Aneto, Inca, Montsant and Besiberri, was carried out by Cooperativa Fem Ciutat SCCL, with the Solucions SL team as consultants.

Hundreds of neighbourhood residents participated this Saturday in the official inauguration of this development, with which “we are rebuilding a historical grievance,” explained the district councillor of Nou Barris, Carolina Recio. The councillor emphasised how the strength of the residents has allowed in recent years the “recovery of public housing in the neighbourhood of Turó de la Peira.” 

Similarly, the President of Cooperativa Fem Ciutat, Pep Miró, recalled that the neighbourhood struggle to improve housing conditions in Nou Barris started 25 years ago. Since then, Cooperativa Fem Ciutat has already developed the construction of 3,780 homes in Barcelona and other locations in Catalonia.

“The aim of the City Council is to encourage calls and public tender, but there are also other complementary models such as surface right,” explains Miró. This is precisely what has been applied in the development of one hundred homes with official protection in el Turó. In this case, the land was acquired through an agreement signed between the Barcelona City Council, the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona (FAVB) and Fem Ciutat.

The President of the FAVB, Ana Menéndez, added that this is the model that the neighbourhood organisation has been using for 25 years and that it is “a model to defend because it contributes to making decent housing possible.”

 

An open model to promote public housing

According to the Councillor for Housing and Renovation, Josep Maria Montaner, the city must evolve and adapt to the times, and so must the models for the promotion of public housing. In this regard, he stressed that “the current model is completely open” and that all kinds of formulas fit within it, from renovation to cohousing, public-private collaboration, and transfer of use, among others.

For Montaner, the promotion of public housing must respond to three ethical principles. The first is to ensure that public land remains public. Second, is to increase public housing for rent. “It is a shame what we have inherited in this city, only 1.5% rented public housing. We want to reach 80%.”

Third, the Councillor for Housing and Renovation stated that the developments are carried out through public tender since “this way, maximum transparency is guaranteed”, although he has also indicated that “there may be exceptions, as in the case of the agreement signed with the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona (FAVB) and Fem Ciutat.

 

100 homes at affordable prices

The El Turó development consists of 100 flats with Official Protection of the General Regime. The project was drafted by the Pedro Mora Architecture office with financing from Caixabank. The flats, distributed in six blocks of five floors, have an area of 72 square meters to 87 square meters, with three bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen and two bathrooms. Three of the homes were built for people with reduced mobility.

Each flat comes with a parking space that also has official protection. The building has three underground floors for parking cars and motorcycles, as well as a ground floor with two shops. The development also has an installation of solar panels on the roof that facilitates energy saving in the homes.

The Solutions Manager, Xavier Prat, said that 80% of the people who will live in the El Turó development are from the neighbourhood. He also pointed out that, in most cases, they are people who are 3.5 times below the minimum wage, so they can benefit from the affordable prices.

One of the aspects that is most valued among the residents of this development is its price. The flats range from €110,700 to €138,700, most with mortgages under €100,000 and monthly mortgage payments between €350 and €450.

The price is very good“, says David Migó, one of the new residents of the Turó development, who explained that this was precisely the factor that made him decide to take part in the call for these flats. Maricela and Martín Rodríguez did it for the same reason, saying that “the best thing about the flat is its cost”.

Other residents have highlighted different aspects of the homes. Olga Halavataya has been very satisfied with the layout of her flat as well as its size and luminosity: “I visited many flats and most were old, small and dark. These are very nice”.

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