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.​

Handover of the keys to the 20 homes of the cooperative housing project La Balma

15/07/2021 - 21:26

Housing. The subsidised apartments have been built on a publicly owned plot assigned to the cooperative for an extendible period of 75 years

The keys have been delivered  for the 20 homes of the cooperative housing project La Balma, located at Carrer Espronceda 131-135 in the Poblenou neighbourhood in the District of Sant Martí, built on a publicly owned plot which the Barcelona Municipal Housing Institute (IMHAB) has assigned to the Sostre Cívic cooperative for an extendible period of 75 years. The promotion will have 20 subsidised homes. The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau; the Chairman of Sostre Cívic, Carlos Alcoba; the Chairman of the Confederation of Cooperatives of Catalonia, Guillem Llorens; the Director of the Barcelona Delegation of Fiare Banca Ètica, Sònia Molina; the Secretary of Housing and Social Inclusion of the Government of Catalonia, Carles Sala; and the representatives of La Balma, Sil Bel and Maria Badia, delivered the keys to the new residents of the cohousing project La Balma.

The La Balma project came to life in 2016 when the Sostre Cívic cooperative, along with a driving group of members and the team of architects of the cooperative Lacol i la Boqueria, won the competition promoted by the Barcelona City Council to develop a cooperative housing project in the Poblenou neighbourhood. The construction process began in September 2019 and now the keys have been delivered to the people that will move into the 20 apartments.

La Balma is a five-floor building containing 20 homes in the Official Protection regime, of three types: small, of 48.9 m2; medium, of 61 m2; and large, of 75.34m2. In addition to the homes, the building will have a number of common spaces: a community hall with a kitchen and lavatory, a car park and bike workshop, guest rooms, a cure room, a laundry and a communal roof terrace.

The building is constructed with wood and will have a geothermal system, a source of renewable energy obtained from the heat stored in the earth. The promoting group of La Balma is heterogeneous and intergenerational, and it includes various types of families: single-parent, couples with and without children, individual young or retired people. In addition, one of the homes is reserved for people in a situation of special vulnerability, which will be inhabited by two young former wards.


Promotion of cohousing

This is one of the various actions exemplifying Barcelona City Council’s commitment to maximising its public rental housing stock, contained in the Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025.

With this model, Barcelona has become one of the first cities in the Spanish State to have cohousing projects in motion aimed at guaranteeing access to decent and affordable homes, maintaining public ownership of land, fighting against speculation, favouring stability over time for residents and fostering communal management of buildings.

The first two pilot projects were signed in the year 2015 and the residents are now living there: Princesa 49 (5 homes) and La Borda (28 homes). In 2016 the programme was enlarged to a total of 122 homes with a first tender of municipal plots and buildings in which four plots were adjudicated, one of which is La Balma. In 2019 a second public tender was held of three plots, with a total of 107 new homes.

In addition, in order to promote this housing modality, the City Council has created the Cooperative Housing Board as a new working group within the Barcelona Social Housing Council. Within this framework, the City Council has signed an agreement with non-profit organisations to streamline the process of assignment of plots and increase the public housing stock. With the agreement signed last November, these entities have been provided with 15 plots and 3 buildings, totalling 497 homes dedicated to rental and cohousing.