Through the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation of Barcelona, the Sant Martí district has seen its stock increase by approximately 2,000 apartments since 2015, with an investment by the City Council of 244 million euros. A significant expansion of housing to address the housing emergency that the Barcelona City Council is carrying out from three strategies such as construction, purchase and capture.
An exponential transformation that has taken place in recent years in Sant Martí and that the consistory made known in two meetings held on Wednesday, February 15 at the Casal de Barri del Parc i la Llacuna and Wednesday 22 in the auditorium of the Escola la Pau. Both concentrated a significant number of neighbors interested in learning firsthand the details of this urban renewal that the district is experiencing. And that ratify the figures.
Of the three strategies implemented by the City Council, the most developed structural solution is construction, with a total of 1,479 dwellings and 77 lodgings accounted for, whether completed developments, under construction, in the pipeline, or land reserve. By neighborhoods, El Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou currently has the most housing under construction, with a hundred, while other particularly active neighborhoods are La Verneda i la Pau (62), Besòs i el Maresme (56), Provençals del Poblenou (35) and Camp de l’Arpa del Clot (24).
However, in parallel to new construction, the consistory also makes acquisitions, as evidenced by the 139 homes purchased in the district, which include homes purchased and homes in usufruct from financial institutions.
Finally, the third strategy is recruitment, which includes housing mobilized through the Rental Housing Exchange, the agreement with Hàbitat3, and the Housing for Tourist Use (HUT) program, which translates into 292 housing units recruited in the district in question.
Housing to break the mold
Unlike other districts of the city, where space is much more restricted and limiting, Sant Martí enjoys a notable availability of municipal land that allows for many different types of housing, which makes the city an example of other large European cities.
Sant Martí, for example, is the leading district in the city in terms of housing with services for the elderly, ahead of Ciutat Vella and Nou Barris. This is a group that requires housing adapted to their needs and is receiving more and more attention. But industrialised construction has also spread throughout the city, and this district is no exception, with three developments that are currently under construction, and which stand out for having wood as the main material used in the work. They are located in the streets of Lola Iturbe Arizcuren, Pallars, and Binèfar.
In addition, among the industrialised systems, we must add the APROP housing, a model of temporary accommodation and fast, sustainable, and quality construction, from recycled shipping containers. Currently, it has two completed blocks in the city, one of them precisely in San Martín, at C. Bolivia, 33-41.
A diverse range of housing formats where we can also find an alternative and emerging housing model, which is committed to community living, such as cooperative housing in cession of use or cohousing. This has also left its mark on the district, with the La Balma building, promoted by Sostre Cívic, and Abril Poblenou, by La Dinamo, which is currently being promoted.
As the figures show, Sant Martí is one of those responsible for the increase in public housing stock throughout the city, which has gone from 7,500 homes in 2015 to more than 11,500 today. A volume that, with the promotions underway and in the pipeline in the coming years, will make it possible to have, by 2025, a public housing stock under municipal management that will have doubled compared to that of 2015.
For all those citizens interested in accessing subsidized housing in the city, they have at their disposal the Register of Applicants, the official access route of the City Council of Barcelona. It requires free prior registration, which can be formalized in three different ways: in person at any of the housing offices, by phone at 010, or online, through the website of the register of applicants.