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Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

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The CAH and ATRI project wins the BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge

16/05/2019 - 16:19

Housing. The prize includes getting a pilot project up and running in both cities.

The CAH and ATRI joint project by the National University of Colombia and the Barcelona collective Straddle 3 has won the international BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge, a cooperative initiative between Barcelona and New York headed by the i.lab urban innovation laboratory.

The winning project is the result of collaboration between the project ‘Construction system for affordable housing’(National University of Colombia) and the project ‘Innovation for social inclusion’ (Straddle 3 Barcelona).

The project offers an approach to an ever-denser city which makes use of the gaps still to be found in the urban make-up. That includes the renovation of existing buildings and new constructions, without affecting the land, with new low-cost construction techniques which are light, adaptable and quick to execute.

The building project can also construct homes with few anchoring points, suspended in the air, and can even renew run-down and infra-used sections of the city such as motorways, ports and transport stations.

Pilot projects in Barcelona and New York

The challenge is an initiative by the Commissioner’s Office for Technology and Digital Innovation and the Councillors Office for Housing and Renovation at Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with New York City Council, and headed by the i.lab social and sustainable urban innovation laboratory.

The winning project was chosen out of 54 projects from 16 countries around the world. Three finalists were chosen first and announced at the Barcelona Housing Forum in March, and finally Barcelona and New York awarded the prize to the CAH and ATRI project.

The project will get 40,000 dollars to get two pilot projects up and running, one in Barcelona and the other in New York. The winning team will also have the chance to meet with important municipal stakeholders in housing and technology in the two cities, gaining international visibility and recognition.

Technological solutions to make housing more affordable

The goal shared by the cities of New York and Barcelona through this challenge is to find innovative solutions, tools and technology to cut the costs and time needed to build and renovate housing in dense urban areas, making housing more affordable for everyone.

The shortage of adequate and affordable housing has a negative effect on sustainability, social inclusion, equality and people’s health and well-being. Barcelona and New York are both committed to tackling this challenge, set out in the declaration by local governments on the right to housing and the right to the city, which both cities headed.

The BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge is also part of the IUC European project, which housing teams from both cities have been exchanging experiences with for some months.


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