Sale of 3,000 social housing in Madrid to vulture fund declared illegal

by Lorraine Williamson
Social housing Madrid

MADRID – In Spain, too, many companies see brick as a good investment. As such, there is a lot of trade in homes originally intended for social housing. However, a judge in Madrid declared the sale of 3,000 such homes illegal. 

The almost duped residents of social housing are very happy after their fight that lasted almost 8 years: “We won!” They celebrate the Madrid region will not appeal the latest order that the sale of 2,935 public apartments to a Vulture Fund declared illegal. The term vulture fund refers to financial funds – often in the hands of billionaires based in Caribbean tax havens. Moreover, they buy the debts of companies that are near bankruptcy and make huge profits for a pittance. 

Continuous struggle

However, despite the stubbornness of regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who continues to refuse to apply harsh court decisions, reality has put her in her place.  Furthermore, she has been corrected by her own regional government. As a result, this comes after eight years of continuous struggle by the group of affected families. 

Quique Villalobos is president of the FRAVM, the association that defends the interests of residents. Their complex is owned by the Social Housing Agency and was nearly sold to the Goldman Sachs fund. Therefore, Villalobos joined residents to celebrate the regional government’s decision not to appeal the latest court order on the sale of homes from IVIMA (now Social Housing Agency) to Goldman Sachs. 

“the legal debate is finally closed”

Villalobos: “After delaying this moment for years and after the accumulation of court judgments” that invalidated the sale of the 2,935 houses that took place in 2013, the Minister of Environment, Housing and Agriculture of the Community of Madrid, Paloma Martín, announced , yesterday that her government will not appeal the latest decision of the Supreme Court of Madrid. That decision confirmed the nullity of the sale in such a way that “the legal debate is finally closed”. 

Back in the hands of social housing

Martín acknowledged that “the courts’ ruling excludes any possibility of legally reopening the case. That is why we are going to focus on ensuring the families continue to live in those apartments,” he said. As such, the flats now have to come back into the hands of the Social Housing Society and its residents. 

Villalobos called it very ‘sad’ “the regional government only corrected its position after being confronted and a judicial stalemate reached. The government should have looked after the interests and well-being of the nearly 3,000 families from Madrid affected by this case at all times. In doing so,  the ordeal of these families has continued for years.” 


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