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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.​

Living in the Public Housing Stock

03/01/2017 - 10:08

Social housing. A public housing stock user describes his experience as a beneficiary of one of the social rental flats in the Sant Andreu district.


Juan Fernández is one of the beneficiaries of the public housing stock. He has been living in a social rental flat on Passeig de Santa Coloma in the Sant Andreu district for three years now. A few years ago, he was in a very difficult social and economic situation so, on the advice of a friend, he put in an application for social housing.

Juan pays €540 a month for his flat, although there are cheaper social flats for rent. He says the main guarantee is being able to get decent accommodation at an affordable rent and, above all, it brings stability, knowing he can stay there for many years.

He thinks that the community needs to be more involved in housing policies and to work with institutions such as the Municipal Housing Trust and the Barcelona Housing Consortium on issues such as building maintenance and the setting up of related and nearby services.

“I think that there ought to be more investment in the housing stock so families and young people can get access to this type of rent, because it benefits the city and its surroundings”, he says. In his opinion, the supply is not enough to cover the current social demand.

As regards future improvements, Juan hopes new infrastructures will be set up around the building where he lives to boost activity in the area, which is a long way from the shops and other services.


Increasing public rental flats to guarantee the right to housing

Until recently, the Barcelona Municipal Housing Trust had been pushing for the construction of between 250 and 300 flats a year. But with the new 2016-2025 Right to Housing Plan, Barcelona City Council plans to add nearly 1,000 flats a year to the housing stock by building a total of 8,854 flats, 80% of them social rentals.

The Barcelona City Council Housing Manager, Javier Burón, has acknowledged that “housing needs cannot wait”. So, in response to today’s emergency housing situation, the City Council is now working to reach agreements with the banks and acquire low-cost flats.

The Council has also launched the campaign “You’ve got the key” to mobilise flats in the hands of small and big property owners. So far, the city government has managed to mobilise 650 flats belonging to small owners for the social rental pool and 250 via the Hàbitat3 Foundation.

At the moment, the Municipal Housing Trust manages nearly 6,000 public rental flats. The purpose of this public stock is to offer access to a decent home at below market prices, which continue to rise and prevent many families from having somewhere to live in the city.


Opting for a public housing stock at social and affordable rents

Barcelona City Council has opted to defend, promote and guarantee the right to housing. Consequently, the new 2016-2025 Right to Housing Plan pursues various strategies to prevent evictions, make housing accessible, foster habitable households through renovation and encourage debate on such key issues as regulating rents.

One of the main housing actions that City Council envisages is to increase the public housing stock available at affordable rents. This increase involves buying housing and building new properties, as well as collaborating with small and big property owners who would like to put their flats in the Rental Housing Pool.

It is also important to bear in mind the appearance of new alternative housing projects which are being promoted in collaboration with promoters such as cooperatives, creating new limited profit or non-profit tenure models.

The common goal is to focus on the expansion of the social rental housing stock, in response to the growing demand for affordable housing in the city.

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