Updated on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 – 11:30
Vistabella launches two pioneering projects in the province to stimulate the housing rental market and stop the loss of useful agricultural land
Vistabella, with about 330 inhabitants, is the highest municipality in the province of Castelln.EM Communication The City Council will be an interlocutor between owners and future tenants Statements The Mayor: There are neighboring towns interested in replicating the project
The depopulation is a reality that affects a good part of the province of Castelln, the territory of the Valencian Community that houses more municipalities with less than 350 inhabitants. Faced with this problem, the challenges that small municipalities face to attract new neighbors to fill their stores, schools, doctor’s offices or restaurants are difficult to combat, such as poor communications, the lack of basic services … but also, and despite the fact that in most of these places many of the houses are unoccupied, there is also a pressing lack of housing supply. And something similar happens in terms of the job offer: many of the fields remain unused.
To try to alleviate this paradox, the small municipality of Vistabella -the highest in the province-, has launched the first municipal housing and land bank in the province de Castelln, two initiatives aimed at encouraging renting and curbing the loss of useful agricultural land, respectively.
Thus, the municipal ordinance regulating the bank of rental homes aims to turn the City Council of this small municipality, of just over 300 inhabitants, into an intermediary between owners and potential tenants that stimulates local supply and demand. And hopefully attract new families and opportunities to town.
In this sense, the mayor of Vistabella, Jordi Alcon, explained that the goal of the Comproms government team is, in the first place, to create a registry of empty houses. We have many houses but no offers for rent or sale. The reason is that the houses are old and in poor condition, they need renovations.
Before this problem, the registry will serve to put the owners of empty and unused houses in contact with people interested in renting a home in Vistabella. And although the role of the City Council ends there (it will be exclusively the interested parties who set the terms of a possible rental contract), from the consistory they hope that the interlocution between the parties can be translated into agreements such as the transfer of an affordable rent or the lack of for a few months in exchange for the renter to undertake reforms, for example, so that both parties gain from the current situation.
According to the text of the municipal ordinance that has been published recently in the Official Gazette of the Province of Castelln, the initiative takes into account that the rental market is not an effective alternative to the property market in Spain, since either the supply of rental homes is insufficient, or it is not competitive because it is subject to very high rents .
For this reason, one of the requirements established by the local government of Comproms in Vistabella, is that for the owners to be able to register their homes in the municipal registry, the rental price cannot exceed 350 euros per month including storage garage and annexes, if any.
It is very important that everyone understands that we intend promote reasonable and affordable rent to avoid creating a kind of bubble, insists the nationalist.
On the other hand, with 151 square kilometers, Vistabella is the third largest municipality in the province of Castelln. However, most of their lands are not used. For this reason, the City Council has also launched the pioneering initiative ‘Banco de Tierras de Vistabella del Maestrat’, which will function in a similar way to the registration of houses in order to stop the loss of useful agricultural land through the implementation of value of farmland lost or insufficiently used and to solve the problems derived from the abandonment of the fields, such as fires.
It is about offering information on the amount of forest area, terraces and agricultural land Those that are not being used at the moment and that could interest many people, explains Alcon.
At the same time, the text of the ordinance states that the conservation of the agricultural use of the plots is also pursued in order to avoid abandonment through the enhancement of them, with the purpose of stopping the loss of their values. agrarian, environmental or other values linked to the rational use of rural resources within the limits established by said bases and the sectoral legislation of application.
These properties are Useful for agriculture, farming or beekeeping, for instance.
Finally, in statements the mayor warns that both initiatives against depopulation launched in Vistabella could have their replication in the province: There are already several neighboring municipalities that have requested information from us to create its own municipal banks, Alcon said.
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