The City Council has signed over the use of four sites for cooperatives to build cohousing projects on municipally-owned land in the districts of Ciutat Vella, Sants-Montjuïc, Nou Barris and Sant Martí. The winning projects took into account criteria relating to social and environmental aspects, the shared use of basic infrastructures and co-responsible management.
The plots are located in Pg. Joan de Borbó, 11 (Ciutat Vella), in C/ Ulldecona, 26-28 (Sants-Montjuïc), in C/ Pla dels Cirerers, 2-4 (Nou Barris), and in C/ Espronceda, 131-135 (Sant Martí). The cooperatives, which were able to access the sites for the public competition, today signed the agreement for the use of the land and will be able to start their projects in the coming weeks. They are: La Xarxaire, SCCL (in Barceloneta), Llar Jove, SCCL (in La Marina del Prat Vermell), Associació Cohabitatge Cooperatiu (in Les Roquetes), and Sostre Cívic, SCCL (in Poblenou).
Extending the affordable housing stock
The City Council offered the plots in the various districts out to public competition last October for cohousing projects to apply. Eligibility was restricted to cooperatives promoting new forms of access to protected housing.
The competition signals the start of a new means of extending the affordable housing stock in the city, with new opportunities for social housing cooperatives and promotors.
This housing formula enables a community of people to live in a building without being owners or tenants. The extensive lease period varies from fifty to a hundred years and offers below-market prices.
The model involves the City Council or a private owner signing over the use of an unused property or plot of land so that the cooperative can build on it. The members pay a deposit and a monthly quota for the use of their home. They can have lifelong access to a home, even though they will never be the owners: the property belongs to the cooperative and the land will always be publicly-owned, meaning it can never be used for property speculation.
Projects must take into account strict environmental criteria, offer a substantial number of areas to foster community life, as well as the shared use of basic infrastructures and joint management by users.