Changes in the rental market
Updated Thursday, 7 October 2021 – 01:38
The Prime Minister surprised everyone with a measure that replicates another that Zapatero launched 15 years ago. Experts warn of the boomerang effect that could lead to
Pedro Snchez (i) and Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, in a file image. Housing The map of the great forks in Spain: how many are there and where are they concentrated? Government The new law prohibits the sale of public housing to the private sector
Neither the formula is new nor is the original idea Pedro Sánchez’s. His announcement Tuesday about the creation of a housing bond for rent caught everyone by surprise, including his partner in Government, United we can, but already the previous socialist president, Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, launched a similar measure in the last part of its mandate and experts warn of the boomerang effect that, as then, it could entail now.
Both bonds are, broadly speaking, very similar. Zapatero baptized his initiative as “Basic Emancipation Income”, although it became popular as “check-housing”, and approved it in September 2007, six months before the general elections.
It consists of a monthly aid of 210 euros per month for rent, plus 600 euros of loan for the deposit and a guarantee of six months. The check is awarded to young people between 22 and 29 years old, with a maximum income of 22,000 euros gross per year and for a limit of four years.
The chronicles of that time say that it was a “ad-bomb” that few expected, as happened on Tuesday with the message from Pedro Sánchez. The president of the Executive surprised with the announcement in the I Urban Forum of Spain that was celebrated in Seville when the whole audience expected some assessment on the Housing Law that he himself had just unblocked a few hours before.
So unprepared did it catch everyone that even the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra (UP), admitted at night that he was not aware of the plan. She was also the first to warn of its possible consequences: “Zapatero’s rental assistance resulted in many landlords raising the rental price,” she said in a radio interview.
This is also one of the risks pointed out by the sources consulted by this newspaper regarding the bond. “The measures should be aimed at deflating the market, not the other way around. Injecting public money into the system to fill the pockets of large rentiers will not solve the situation, but on the contrary, contribute to raising prices,” he points out. Fernando Barrera, spokesperson for the Union of Tenants and Tenants of Madrid.
Barrera also warns that the effects may not be there, since this increase in prices could not only be transferred directly to the rental contracts, but also outside of them. “A black market can be fostered” in which the owners demand an extra amount from the tenants beyond what appears in the contract between the two, “and can also lead to some discrimination when choosing landlords,” he adds.
Barrier refers to landlords who, in the search for more future security, give priority to tenants who receive the bonus over those who do not.
For all these reasons, the spokesperson for the Tenants’ Union believes that the Government should allocate the money it allocates to this measure – an item of 200 million euros in the next General Budgets of 2022- to implement other types of public housing policies that help reduce the problems of access to housing for the youngest and protect the social and accessible rental stock.
Yesterday and today
The housing voucher that Sánchez planted on Tuesday will provide a monthly aid of 250 euros to young people between 18 and 35 young people whose annual income level is less than 23,725 euros. It will be in force in the next two years and for vulnerable families, this bond will be completed with more direct rent aids of up to 40% of the value.
Rodrguez Zapatero’s rent-check came out four years after its entry into force and, according to the figures compiled by the information at that time, left a balance of “400 million euros invested, half a million applications and more than 301,000 precarious twentysomethings between 22 and 30 years old beneficiaries “.
While waiting to know the specific characteristics of the Sanchez formula, what can be said so far is that the tool has managed to agree on its uncertainty to practically all parts of the market, both tenants and owners.
The sources of the great homemade consulted by this newspaper agree that it would be more effective for the government to use the money destined for the bond in other types of tools that attack the root of the problem and solve it in a structural way. “It is a populist path that does not solve the situation”, they point to THE WORLD.
“It would be better to apply money to create a new park, which would solve the problem much better, than not to subsidize precariousness, because this bonus is a way to subsidize and maintain precariousness based on aid that does not create value and does not lead anywhere” , warn other sources. “There is no doubt that it is necessary to help young people to become emancipated and have access to a home, but this is not the best way,” they reiterate.
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