Spain needs to create 800,000 social rental homes

Spain News

In the next fifteen years, Spain wants to make 800,000 more social rental homes available. In addition to the €1billion already earmarked, this would require a further two billion euros investment.

The plan comes from Spanish non-profit housing associations, real estate employers and employee organisations. For its realisation, the government needs to invest €3.45billion over the next three years. The plan has been signed by 34 real estate organisations; a significant number of which are from Catalonia.

Semi-private real estate projects

Carme Trilla, Chairman of the Observatorio Metropolitano de la Vivienda de Barcelona, ​​calculated Spain needs a total of two million social housing units to meet current demand. Of those two million, experts say 40% ought to be combined public-private new construction projects. Based on an average house price of €114,000, a calculation arrives at a required €23,000 (20%) government investment per house. Multiply the house cost by 50,000 homes per year, and the result is an annual government investment of €1.15 billion.

The plan sets out a number of measures to supplement government investment. In addition to making building land available, private investors must receive a guarantee from the official credit institute ICO for 80% of the necessary financing and the VAT rate on the homes must be reduced from 10% to 4%.

Large part of the budget goes to more sustainable homes

The €1billion already pledged by the Spanish government comes from the €6.82billion from the European emergency fund intended to adapt the homes in Spain. Most of this will go on making homes and offices more sustainable. This a result of an EU condition for a future low-carbon economy.

The Spanish government’s current housing plan ends this year. The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda is due to approve a new plan at the late 2021/early 2022. According to Carme Trilla, the Spanish government has not yet released anything  regarding the level of investment in the housing market, but must start with a billion euros to define later which investments will follow.

Spain has the least, the Netherlands the most social rental homes in Europe

Within Europe, at 1.6%, Spain is one of the countries with the lowest percentage of social rental homes. According to the housing associations which presented the new plan, Spain spends only 0.1% its gross domestic product on social expenditures and housing. Meanwhile, the European average is 0.6%. When it comes to the percentage of social rental housing, the Netherlands is the European leader with 30%.

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