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.​

The International Social Housing Festival 2023 lands in Barcelona from June 7 to 9

02/06/2023 - 10:03

Housing. The most important international congress on social housing in Europe will bring together around 2,000 attendees and hold three plenary sessions and about sixty activities across eight venues, including the Barcelona Congress Center.

In a matter of a few days, Barcelona will welcome hundreds of visitors from around the world on the occasion of the fourth edition of the International Social Housing Festival (ISHF), which will take place in the Catalan capital on June 7th, 8th, and 9th.

ISHF is the most important international congress on social housing in Europe, and for this fourth edition, it has nearly 2,000 registered participants, double the number from the previous edition held in Helsinki last June. The objective of the event is to foster debate on public housing policies and address the multiple challenges faced by the public, social, and cooperative housing sectors in ensuring universal access to housing.

An initiative of Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative, and Social Housing, jointly supported by the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Government of Catalonia, the Government of Valencia, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda, and up to 200 partner organizations worldwide that make it possible.

Therefore, ISHF serves as a link between hundreds of professionals in the sector, such as developers and managers of social and affordable housing, research centers, professionals, local authorities, residents, and activists. It is expected that approximately 40% of attendees will come from Catalonia and Spain, 50% from the rest of Europe, and the remaining 10% from other parts of the world.

Over sixty proposals for all profiles

The current social and economic landscape presents multiple challenges, obstacles, and opportunities, particularly in an area as sensitive and fundamental to citizens as the right to access decent and affordable housing. To address this issue, ISHF offers a program that includes more than 60 activities in different formats.

The program features three plenary sessions on “New challenges and housing solutions in Catalonia and Spain”, “Emerging housing systems in Southern Europe”, and “Emerging housing initiatives in the Americas”. Additionally, there are six parallel sessions covering topics such as public housing policies, urban planning, market regulations, and the transformative power of architecture, among others.

In addition, in its role as a host, Barcelona will showcase examples of innovative measures and actions it has undertaken to improve housing in the city, such as building renovation, industrialised construction, cooperative housing, and access to housing for people with disabilities, to name a few.

ISHF will feature over 60 prestigious speakers, including the Euro MP Kim Van Sparrentak; the representative of the board of the International Union of Tenants (IUT) and advocate for housing unionism, Barbara Steenbergen; the Director of Housing Projects at the UCLA Lewis Center Housing Initiative, Shane Phillips; the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Adrianne Todman; and the Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urbanism of Chile, Tatiana Rojas, among others.

The Palau de Congressos will be the epicenter of the event for the three days, but activities will also take place in eight complementary venues such as Ca l’Alier, la Lleialtat Santsenca, the Bonnemaison Center, and the Industrial School from Barcelona.

To stay updated on all the news of ISHF, subscribe to the official newsletter, and make sure to check the ISHF website and follow the official account on Facebook and Twitter.