A united front with local residents has prevented six families from losing their homes in a building in the neighbourhood of El Raval. The agreement with the owners of the building at C/ Sant Bartomeu, 6, means the affected households will have affordable rents.
The mediation process also helped get the owners to make a commitment to carry out improvements to the flats. This is a key step for accessing the subsidies and incentives offered to owners by the City Council to help keep maintain the city’s housing stock in exchange for offering affordable rents.
In this case, the owners will also cede the use of two empty flats in the same block and rent them out to vulnerable families, with the four remaining flats to be rented out on the free market.
Fighting property speculation
Ciutat Vella is one of the districts affected the most by property speculation in the city. Because of this, in 2019 the City Council embarked on a strategy to tackle situations where local people are at risk of losing their homes in blocks of flats. The strategy entails collective negotiation with the people living in the block, with social entities and the building’s owners.
Two similar mediation processes had already been conducted. The first was with the Blackstone investment fund in relation to the property at C/ Hospital, 99, culminating in July 2019. The second was for the building at C/ Espalter, 6.