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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.​

"We are creating a Barcelona cohousing model"

30/09/2018 - 19:03

Celebration. The Barcelona City Council presents its cooperative housing model as a way to boost affordable housing at the first Cohousing Meeting

Barcelona is committed to cohousing as a viable option to boost affordable housing. The City Council of Barcelona has already invested 10.6 million euros in the first cohousing projects being carried out on public land, and is determined to continue with this model.

“We are creating a Barcelona cohousing model,” explained Josep Maria Montaner, councillor for Housing and Renovation of the Barcelona City Council, at the Cohousing Meeting held this Saturday, September 29. The event served to present the cooperative housing projects being developed by the Barcelona City Council.

The meeting, which was informal and festive, was held at the building site of Espronceda 131-135, in the neighbourhood of Poblenou, where the construction will soon begin on one of the four cooperative housing developments that resulted from the City Council’s public tender to build cooperative housing on municipal lots.


The basic premises 

Cohousing is a means of access to housing that allows a community of people to live in a building without being owners or landlords, for a long period of time – 75 years – and at a lower-than-market price.

It consists of the cession, by the City Council, of an unused property or lot to a neighbourhood cooperative. The members pay an entrance deposit and a monthly fee for the use of their home, but they will never be the owners: the property belongs to the cooperative.

As Montaner explained, the Barcelona model “is evolving” but it has some basic premises. The first is that “public land must remain public” in order to avoid speculation. Secondly, transparency is sought, offering the available flats through open public competitions. There is also a great deal of importance given to the architectural quality of the projects.

The City Council has created a cooperative housing committee to discuss with the whole sector “how to define this cohousing model that is under construction”. As Montaner explained, the objective “is to draft the model and open a new call for cohousing projects before the mandate ends.”


Six projects underway

Currently, there are six cohousing projects underway in Barcelona:

  • Princesa, 49 – Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera (Ciutat Vella), managed by the cooperative Sostre Cívic.
  • Constitució, 83-89 – la Bordeta (Sants-Montjuïc), managed by the cooperative La Borda.
  • Espronceda, 131-135 – el Poblenou (Sant Martí), managed by the cooperative Sostre Cívic.
  • Ulldecona, 26-28 – la Marina del Prat Vermell (Sants-Montjuïc), managed by the cooperative Llar Jove Prat Vermell.
  • Pla dels Cirerers, 2-4 – les Roquetes (Nou Barris), managed by the cooperative Sostre Cívic.
  • Joan de Borbó, 11 – la Barceloneta (Ciutat Vella), managed by the cooperative La Xarxaire.


A new model for social participation

During the Cohousing Meeting, the first deputy mayor of Barcelona, ​​Gerardo Pisarello, stated that the six cohousing projects underway “are very innovative projects that will add 134 homes, and that have been made possible thanks to the insistence, obstinance, and patient impatience of the cooperatives.”

Pisarello highlighted the collaboration between the City Council and the cooperative world as “another way of understanding social participation in the construction of the economy”.

The manager of Housing and Renovation, Javier Burón, highlighted the “tremendous social and public energy” that exists in Barcelona, ​​a city that is moving towards a “transformation of the relationship between the market and the administration in terms of housing.”

“The cohousing model is being born without an instruction manual, building on the historical tradition of other cities and countries” such as Austria, Denmark and Uruguay, said Burón.

On the other hand, the cohousing organisations in Barcelona were very active in the event, which also served to continue collecting views on the cohousing model being developed.


The Balearic Islands experience

During the Cohousing Meeting, the Balearic Islands cohousing project of the Balearic Housing Institute (IBAVI) was presented.

IBAVI technicians Lucas Pol Bonnín, Lara Fuster and Carles Oliver explained that they have been working for a year and that a first call is being prepared for the tendering of five sites that already have projects.

Carles Oliver explained that “there will be a transparent public competition” and that the aspects to be considered will be based on ethical, social and environmental elements. “Social involvement is valued, with the neighbourhood, with local organisations, and proposals for environmental improvement,” added Lara Fuster.


Exhibition and recreational activities

During the Cohousing Meeting, people could visit an exhibition about the six cohousing projects being developed by the municipal government, and the organisations related to cohousing also had a space to disseminate their activities, explaining their projects to those who were interested.

Children and families were able to enjoy different recreational activities, such as face painting and craft workshops. Among the activities was a workshop inviting children to imagine where they would like to live, in order to guide them to reflect on the right to housing.

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