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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  • The fourth edition exceeds 2,000 registered participants and about sixty activities.

    The International Social Housing Festival (ISHF) is an initiative by Housing Europe that seeks to promote debate around public housing policies and address the multiple challenges faced by the public, social, and cooperative housing sectors in ensuring universal housing rights.

    The fourth edition of ISHF took place at the Palau de Congressos in Barcelona from June 7th to 9th, 2023, where dozens of prestigious speakers shared knowledge, reflections, concerns, and proposals in multiple conferences.

    Among the main sessions, held in the well-attended auditorium, the state of housing in Catalonia and Spain was discussed, as well as emerging systems in Southern Europe and the Americas, and public policies on housing, urban planning, market regulation, and the transformative power of architecture.

    As the host city, Barcelona also showcased some of the initiatives driven in recent years, and took attendees to visit other congress venues, addressing topics such as housing for the elderly, cooperative housing, energy efficiency, and housing in conflict-ridden neighborhoods, among many others.

    This successful edition, following those held in Amsterdam, Lyon, and Helsinki, brought forward numerous future challenges, some of which will be analyzed in the next edition scheduled for Dublin in 2025.

    The festival, day by day

    The first day (Wednesday 7th)

    Plenary sessions held in the auditorium:

    9:20 - 10:10  Emerging challenges and solutions in housing in Catalonia and Spain

    11:00 - 12:20  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Urban planning strategies that contribute to housing accessibility

    12:40 - 14:00  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Increasing the public housing stock

    The second day (Thursday 8th)

    Plenary sessions held in the auditorium:

    9:00 - 10:30  Emerging housing systems in Southern Europe

    11:00 - 12:20  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Public-private and public-community collaboration for affordable housing provision

    12:40 - 14:00  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Next Generation EU: Housing renovation and urban regeneration

    Third day (Friday 9th)

    Plenary sessions held in the auditorium:

    9:00 - 10:20  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: Understanding and regulating the private housing market

    10:40 - 12:00  Barcelona-Catalonia Housing Model: The transformative power of architecture: Barcelona 2026 World Capital of Architecture UNESCO-UIA

    12:30 - 13:30  Emerging housing initiatives in the Americas

    13:30 - 14:00  ISHF 2023 Closing Ceremony

    The speakers' opinions

    Sorcha Edwards

    General Secretary of Housing Europe

    Topics for discussion​: The main challenges of social housing in Europe. The development of affordable housing in urban areas. Barcelona is the venue for the ISHF.

    Kim Van Sparrentak

    Member of the European Parliament for the Groenlinks party

    Topics for discussion​: The state of housing in Europe. The priorities of the European Union. Barcelona as an example. The lack of financing from local administrations.

    Shane Phillips

    Director of Housing Initiatives at the Lewis Center, UCLA

    Topics for discussion​: The expansion of affordable housing. The housing crisis in Los Angeles. The role of technology and innovation. Managing inequality in populous cities.

    Barbara Steenbergen

    Head of the Liaison Office of IUT in the European Union

    Topics for discussionRent and wage disparity. Tenant tools for defending their rights. Relationships with the private sector.

    Carlos Araya

    Head of the Housing Policy Division in the government of Chile

    Topics for discussion​: Access to housing for all of Chile's society. Tools for reducing social inequalities. Barcelona's model as a reference. Advocacy for the right to housing.

    Emily Marion Clancy

    Deputy Mayor of Bologna

    Topics for discussion​: The future of cooperative housing. The evolution of this model in cities like Barcelona and Bologna. Urban development without social exclusion.

    Cédric Van Styvendael

    Mayor of Villeurbanne and former President of Housing Europe

    Topics for discussionCommonalities between France and Spain. The housing situation in France. The sustained increase in housing prices. Lessons learned from the ISHF since 2017.