The Barcelona City Council successfully held, last Friday 3, and Saturday 4 February, an open house in the newly built block of C. Lluís Borrassà, which allowed to bring this public and affordable housing project to all citizens who wanted it. A total of 54 subsidized housing units are part of the council’s commitment to expanding the public housing stock and, in this case, reinforces the prominence of these projects in Sant Martí, where there is more municipal land available than in other districts of the city.
Practically all of the available times to visit this new building reached their capacity limit, a sign of the interest of citizens in these developments. Discovering the interiors of a couple of apartments in the block, as well as the community space on the fifth floor and the large and bright lobby were some of the attractions of the visit, accompanied by the information provided by the guides.
Before the start of the open day, an institutional visit took place on Friday morning, which was attended by the Barcelona City Council’s councilor for housing and renovation, Lucía Martín, as well as the Sant Martí district councilor, David Escudé, and IMHAB architects responsible for the project.
“Whenever we finish a public housing block it is a joy. To do it in these times of housing emergency, with so many people waiting to be able to access public housing, and other people who have difficulty paying rent, for us it is a small great victory,” Martín points out.
Housing focused on sustainability and energy efficiency
The 54 homes that make up the development are distributed over 10 floors and a single core scale, which simplifies housing management and reduces maintenance. It has two elevators, two facades open to the exterior, and a roof, on the fifth floor, where solar panels are located.
Thus, the building is a good example of housing construction with quality and sustainability criteria, with special attention to the environment and energy savings. The effort to reduce consumption, in this case, has been put with active mechanical ventilation systems, natural ventilation in the parking lot, aerothermics and photovoltaic panels.
In addition, on the first floor there is a complex that takes up the sports use that previously existed on the site, with eight changing rooms separated from the facade, toilets for public use, a meeting room, a transversal free space and a multipurpose room for 50 people.
Sant Martí, a model of housing diversification
The promotion of the C. Lluís Borrassà adds to the long and significant list of housing developments that have come to light in this district in recent years. Sant Martí has become one of the major hubs of affordable rental housing growth, thanks to the practically 2,000 apartments that have been added to the public stock since 2015. Among them, 139 homes were acquired by the City Council.
“Unlike other districts of the city, in Sant Martí we can build a lot of public housing because we have municipal land. And the fact that we have land also allows us to bet on different housing typologies. Currently, we find social rental housing, rentals with services for the elderly, APROP housing, co-housing, and housing with industrialized construction, such as the one on C. Lola Iturbe Arizcuren, where we laid the first stone a few weeks ago,” Martín explains.
To qualify for one of these homes is essential to be registered in the Register of Applicants, which allows access to the calls for housing that are opened regularly. This is what Juan Carlos did, who has now had the opportunity to enjoy one of the homes in the development on C. Lluís Borrassà, after five years on the register. “I feel very proud and happy. It is a long process, where you have to be patient, so I encourage everyone who is registered not to lose heart, that in the end it ends up becoming a reality. And to be aware of renewing the application every year and to have the correct documentation.”