16th July 2024
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Barcelona wants to revoke all city’s 10,101 tourist apartment licences by Nov 2028

The socialist Barcelona Mayor, Jaume Collboni, has said that the council will revoke all 10,101 tourist apartment licences currently in operation in the city by November 2028, under the new decree from the Catalan government.

The council will be considering not renewing the tourist accommodation licences to the current holders, so that all the flats can be transformed into primary homes, in a way of fighting the housing crisis in the city.

Collboni said that the rental prices in the city have increased by 68% in the last 10 years, and the purchase prices by 38%, a situation that compels the council to take drastic measures to ensure access to housing.

‘We cannot allow the majority of young people who want to leave their [parental] homes to then have to leave Barcelona,’ the mayor said. ‘This measure will not change the situation overnight. These problems take time to address. But with this measure, we are marking a turning point.’

Authorities will implement the Catalan government’s legislation from 7 November 2023, which limits the use of tourist apartments in municipalities with a large housing crisis, such as the Catalan capital.

‘Barcelona currently has 10,000 legal tourist apartments, and the city council will implement the Catalan government’s legislation from 7 November 2023, so that these 10,000 tourist apartments will be transformed into residential homes from November 2028,’ said Collboni.

He also said that the council will modify the controversial measure that requires builders to allocate 30% of each development they build to social housing.

Collboni argued that this measure designed by Ada Colau’s team in the previous council administration, in 2018, only generated 98 affordable housing units, and that this data necessitates a review.

‘What we propose is that developers can transfer these protected housing units to other plots and also open the door for a social developer to be in charge of executing these units,’ he said.

Barcelona City Council has already issued 10,500 fines and asked to shut down the activity of 9,700 tourist apartments since 2016. And from the 6,000 illegal apartments, there are now between 300 and 400 recorded monthly.

In the last few years, 3,473 flats have been moved from illegal visitor accommodation to long-term residences.

Local political groups in the city council will have to agree on Collboni’s proposals before they come into force.

Tourist apartments can be found on rental platforms such as Airbnb, which always hosts a significant number of Barcelona listings.

If the Barcelona mayor’s proposals get the green light, hotels in Barcelona stand to benefit from the move. The opening of new hotels in the city’s most popular areas was banned by the left-wing party governing Barcelona between 2015 and 2023, but Collboni has signalled he could relax the restriction.

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