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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.​

The City Council awards the construction and development of two new “APROP” buildings with around 80 dwellings

26/01/2021 - 20:10

Housing. The “APROP” housing will welcome about 200 people in situations of housing emergency, young people and single-parent families in Sant Martí and Sants-Montjuïc.

After the pilot test with the first provisional proximity housing (APROP in Catalan) in Ciutat Vella, the City Council has awarded the works for the second building of 42 dwellings in the Parc i la Llacuna de Poblenou area, in the Sant Martí district, and has decided on the tender for projects for a third building of 40 dwellings in the La Bordeta neighbourhood, in the Sants-Montjuïc district. With these two new buildings there will be 82 new dwellings for around 200 people.

The Housing and Renovation minister, Lucia Martín, has explained that these provisional dwellings have various advantages, among which the speed of construction and the reduction of the environmental impact stand out. The construction time for traditional housing can be between 6 and 7 years, while only one and a half years passed between the start of proceedings and the first selected people moving in to the APROP building in the Gothic Quarter. This is all thanks to the reuse of containers, enabling a lower environmental impact as they are built from recycled and recyclable material. Finally, Martín has wanted to highlight the importance of the APROP tender not just from the perspective of the right to housing, but also as a tool for promoting the industrial sector, from the point of view of job creation and technological innovation.

APROP, a consolidated innovative project
Martín has explained that the first APROP represented a very important innovation and a different solution to have housing available very quickly to deal with the housing emergency.

Therefore, with these two developments the model is consolidated and that is why the City Council has introduced some changes. The first is the type of cohabitation units they welcome, which will no longer only be people in situations of housing emergency. 50% of the APROP housing of Glòries will be assigned to cohabitation units in situations of housing emergency and the other 50% will be for young people. In Sant Martí, there will also be 50% for emergencies and the rest will be occupied by single-parent families. These collectives have been chosen due to their difficulties accessing decent housing. Martín explains that the objective is to guarantee social mix, an objective that is pursued in all the City Council’s developments. This mix is also guaranteed with the use of the ground floors for facilities open to the whole neighbourhood.

The second change that has been announced is regarding the award process. In the APROP building of La Bordeta, instead of directly putting the work out to tender, first an architectural design competition was done so, now that it is consolidated, the concept can evolve with more open and flexible proposals that make the housing more comfortable with balconies and communal areas.

APROP housing of Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou, a reality at the end of the year
The second building of provisional proximity housing which will be built in Barcelona will be on the plot on Carrer de Bolívia, 33-41 interior, in the Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou neighbourhood, in the Sant Martí district, in the area of the Plaça de les Glòries. Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute of Social Services (IMSS) has already awarded the contract for designing the project and construction of the building to the construction company Calaf, SL, with an investment of 4 million euros. In total it will have 42 dwellings, of which 35 will have two bedrooms, and the rest one bedroom, meaning it can house around 110 people.

The two-bedroom dwellings will have a useful surface area of 52.7 m2, distributed in a sitting room-dining room and open-plan kitchen, two double rooms, a storage space and fully equipped bathroom. The one-bedroom dwellings will have a useful surface area of 25.8 m2 with a sitting room with open-plan kitchen, one double room and a fully equipped bathroom. On the ground floor, the space will be divided between facilities for public use and communal areas for residents (laundry room, workshop spaces, etc.) with access to the courtyard which could be used for parking bicycles and leisure areas for residents, as well as an allotment that will be shared with other institutes from the Social Rights department.

The Head of the Building Department of the construction company Calaf, Santiago López, has explained that the construction process using containers has many advantages. On one hand, construction processes are optimised because much of the work is not done on site. The containers are chosen, stored at the construction company headquarters and the industrialisation process is done in the warehouse where the interior of the housing is completed. With this process, labour risks are also minimised as the work is done in prepared industrial areas and high-rise work is avoided. It also reduced the execution times and acoustic, visual and environmental impact for the neighbours.

Sustainability has been taken into account throughout the construction process. The use of recycled and recyclable elements reduces waste and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the design of the housing permits cross ventilation and natural lighting, increasing comfort and reducing energy consumption. Renewable energy is also produced thanks to the installation of photovoltaic panels.

The project is currently in the draft stage, work is scheduled to begin before the summer. The works will last around 26 weeks and the building will be completed before the end of the year.

“Loggia”, winning project for APROP of the La Bordeta district

From among the 26 proposals presented for APROP housing of La Bordeta district, Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB), the “Loggia” project has been chosen. It is led by a team comprising the architects Judith Crespo Rueda (from the F9 studio), Oihana García Acín (from Ojo Estudio), César Vivas Millaruelo (from Vivas Arquitectos). It is planned to have completed the definitive project in the autumn and then begin the tender for the works which will probably start during the second quarter of 2022.

A highlight of the “Loggia” project is the system of galleries that surround the building offering an image that moves away from the closed container and works as access corridors to the housing, terraces and communal areas and for social interaction among the residents.

The APROP building in La Bordeta will have forty dwellings, 24 with two bedrooms with a surface area of 56 m2 and 16 with one bedroom with a surface area of 44 m2. All the housing will have a terrace of 9 m2 and all the rooms will have the same size, which can be joined and expanded forming a versatile space. The project plans to reduce the demand for heating and air conditioning with the application of different strategies, such as orientation of the housing to face south, solar protection thanks to the ring of galleries, cross ventilation and the reduction of energy losses through façades and windows, among others. Furthermore, the ground and first floors will be allocated to facilities for residents and open to the neighbourhood.

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