Tanca Tanca

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.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

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  • Innovation and new collaborations to increase affordable housing

    The Barcelona Housing and Renovation Forum (FHAR) is an initiative of the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB) of the Barcelona City Council, that aims to bring together professionals from the public and private sector to debate, work on, and highlight the future of the right to housing in the city, just as it is overcoming a pandemic that poses new challenges.

    The second edition took place on November 23 and 24, 2021 at the Sant Pau Modernist Campus. More than thirty national and international experts have participated in roundtables and conferences grouped into two major topics: formulas to increase public rental housing stock and collaborating to increase affordable housing. During the FHAR, topics such as the urban and housing pandemic challenges, innovation in public housing promotion, the commitment to delegated promotion between public and private, transparency and public data to design evidence-based housing policies, as well as the different European models of public policies for access to housing.

    The FHAR is part of the cycle of seminars and conferences that IMHAB has promoted since 2016 to reflect on the future challenges of the sector.


    Tuesday november 23rd, 2021

    Formulas to increase public rental housing stock


    "Urban and Housing Pandemic Challenges"

    Round table

    In this round table we will share the best experiences or initiatives led by different European cities to address the impacts and challenges of the pandemic on urban and housing policies.


    Intervention by: Ricky Burdett. Director, LSE Cities.

    Moderator: Laura Aznar (Journalist - ElCritic.cat)


    • Florian Schmidt (Councilor for urban development - Berlin City Council)
    • Lucía Martín (Councilor for Housing and Renovation - Barcelona City Council)
    • Ian Brossat (Deputy Mayor - Paris)
    • Barbara Steenbergen (Member of the IUT Executive Committee - International Union of Tenants (IUT))

    "Transparency and public data for evidence-based housing policy design"

    Round table

    Big Data is revolutionizing society and therefore the design of an evidence-based housing policy. The challenge is how to use public data in the most transparent way without violating the privacy of citizens.


    Moderator: Jose Miguel Calatayud (Project Manager - Arena Housing Project)


    • Jordi Bosch i Meda (Director of the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory and Head of Housing - Government of Catalonia)
    • Elena Sánchez (Innovation Manager - Basque Habitat Observatory)
    • Dáithí Downey (Councilor for Housing Policies, Dublin City Council Research and Development and Director - Dublin Housing Observatory)

    "The role of the Barcelona Chair of Housing Studies"


    This session will present a new public initiative on public housing and rehabilitation policies promoted by the Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Spanish government and the four public universities of Barcelona.



    • Josep María Montaner (Doctor in architecture and professor at the Barcelona School of Architecture - (ETSAB))
    • Judith Gifreu (Doctor of Law and tenured professor of Administrative Law - Autonomous University of Barcelona)

    "Innovation in public housing development"

    Round table

    The objective of this round table is to present the best practical cases of innovative projects in the field of public housing and analyze what experiences could be easily replicated in other cities and what would be the key challenges to implement them.


    Moderator: Analia Plaza (Journalist - El Periódico de España)


    • Gerard Capó (Manager - I'IMHAB (Barcelona Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation))
    • Felipe Castro (Managing Director - EMVISESA, Sevilla)
    • Cristina Ballester (Managing Director - IBAVI (Institut Balear de l'Habitatge))
    • Maria Vassilakou (CEO - Vassilakou Urban Consulting-Vienna Solutions)

    "Introduction on the industrialized promotion of public housing of l'IMHAB"


    Intervention by Joan Carles Melero, Director of Technical Services of the Municipal Institute of Housing and Rehabilitation of Barcelona (IMHAB)

    "Industrialized public housing development"

    Round table

    In this round table we will share the latest projects and studies on the promotion of industrialized public housing and then we will initiate a dialogue with our leading experts and the public to discuss them in depth.


    Moderator: Ignacio Paricio (Architect - Clotet, Paricio & Assoc, SL)


    • Joan Carles Melero (Director - Technical Services of the Municipal Institute of Housing and Rehabilitation of Barcelona (IMHAB))
    • Anna Guanter (Head of Innovation - Culmia)
    • Jose Manuel Villanueva (Founding Partner - 011h)
    • Sandra Bestraten (President - COAC (Col·legi Oficial d’Arquitectes de Catalunya))
    • Francesc Monells (Partner-CEO - Edetco)
    • Teresa Batlle (Partner - PichArchitects)

    Wednesday november 24th, 2021

    Collaborating to increase affordable housing


    "The 'Housing 2030' initiative in Europe"


    The need for an effective and affordable housing policy to guarantee access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all is one of the UN's most important SDGs. In this session, we will update the actions and achievements of the 'Housing 2030' initiative in Europe in the context of the post-pandemic era.


    Speaker: Julie Lawson (Honorary Associate Professor, Housing Studies, Centre for Urban Research - RMIT University, Australia)

    "European collaboration models"

    Round table

    In this round table we will analyze how to improve collaboration at the European level, what are the different collaboration models and compare their respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


    Moderator: Sorcha Edwards (Secretary General - Housing Europe)


    "Housing Metropolis Barcelona (HMB)"


    In this session we will present the Metropolis Barcelona Housing (HMB) and its objectives of promoting and managing affordable rental housing in the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area. The objective of this entity is to build a park included in 4,500 in a period of ten years incorporating a private partner.

    Intervention by Javier Burón. Manager of Housing and Renovation - Barcelona City Council

    "The commitment to delegated promotion between the public and private sector"

    Round table

    If we want to fulfill our common goal of implementing an effective and affordable housing policy to guarantee access to decent housing, public-private collaboration is key. Let's see what are the best initiatives to integrate all stakeholders and be the most efficient.


    Moderator: Clara Blanchar (Journalist - El País)


    • Javier Burón (Manager of Housing and Rehabilitation - Barcelona City Council)
    • Anna Gener (CEO - Savills Aguirre Newman)
    • Borja García-Egotxeaga (CEO - Neinor Homes)
    • Laia Forné Aguirre (Member - La Hidra Cooperativa)

    "The City Council's alliance with social and cooperative housing entities"


    In this session, the Alliance that the Barcelona City Council has launched with the most representative entities of the housing cooperative will be presented to create a thousand flats in the coming years.

    Intervention by Vanesa Valiño, Head of cabinet of the Barcelona City Council’s Housing Department.

    "Public-community collaboration between non-profit organizations and Barcelona"

    Round table

    In this round table, several representatives of the non-profit organizations of the cities and of the main social entities in the management of social and cooperative housing will explain their specificity and criteria to guarantee access for young people, and also to promote the coexistence and cohousing for the elderly for people with disabilities.


    Moderator: Gemma Tramullas (Journalist - El Periódico)


    • Vanesa Valiño (Head of cabinet of Barcelona City Council’s Housing Department - Barcelona City Council)
    • Laia Forné Aguirre (Member - La Hidra Cooperativa)
    • Manuel Rodriguez (President of the Fundación Salas - and Representative of Cohabitat)
    • Gloria Rubio (Coordinator - La Dinamo Foundation)

    Urban and Housing Pandemic Challenges

    Florian Schmidt

    Councilor for urban development at Berlin City Council.

    Berlin's experience. 

    Ian Brossat

    Paris' Deputy Mayor.

    Paris' experience.

    European Collaboration Models

    Sorcha Edwards

    Secretary General at Housing Europe.

    The 'Housing 2030' initiative in Europe.

    Emily Clancy

    Vice Mayor at Bologna City Council.

    Bolognas' experience.

    Hannah Emery-Wright

    Communities Manager at London CLT.

    London's experience.

    Public-private and public-communitary collaboration

    Anna Gener

    CEO at Savills Aguirre Newman.

    Public-private collaboration.

    Borja García-Egotxeaga

    CEO at Neinor Homes.

    Public-private collaboration.

    Glòria Rubio

    Coordinator at La Dinamo Foundation.

    Public-Community Collaboration.

    Innovation and housing policies

    Anna Guanter

    Head of Innovation at Culmia.

    Industrialised housing.

    Elena Sánchez

    Innovation Manager at Basque Habitat Observatory.

    Transparency and public data.

    Maria Vassilakou

    CEO at Vassilakou Urban Consulting-Vienna Solutions.

    Innovation in public housing development.