The three properties in C/ Doctor Letamendi and C/ Mont-ral, in the neighbourhood of Horta, have been acquired by exercising the right to first refusal, preventing another episode of speculation by a vulture fund in the city. The purchase will avoid the expulsion of the 45 families living in the buildings, many of them at risk of social exclusion.
The acquisition of the three buildings, currently in a very poor state of repair, involved a sum of 1.4 million euros. The move will mean residents with rental agreements which have expired and not renewed will be able to stay on, and also allow for the complete renovation of the buildings.
The operation responds to calls from local residents, who for years have suffered the owner’s non-compliance over the upkeep of the buildings, along with more recent attempts to put the buildings in the hands of vulture funds.
The renovation of the buildings will cost 4.4 million euros and will be included in the agreement signed in November with organisations from the social and cooperative housing sector to guarantee the right to housing. As set out in the agreement, the use of the land will be granted to the foundation, in this case Cohabitac, so that they can take responsibility for the renovation and management of the buildings.
According to preliminary studies by the Municipal Institute for Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), following the renovation of the buildings there could be 36 homes. Any families unable to stay on as a result of the reduction in the total number of homes will be provided with a public rental home as near to the same location as possible.
Nearly 900 homes acquired in six years
This acquisition was possible thanks to the approval in the last term of office of the declaration of the whole city as an area for the right of first refusal for whole buildings. The City Council has bought 26 properties since the strategy was introduced, involving an investment of 70 million euros to expand the public housing stock and stop property speculation.