Anti-eviction Office in Palma, Mallorca, Spain

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Anti-eviction Office in Palma, Mallorca, Spain

Policies and regulations Local policies Governance Evictions Price control

Main objectives of the project

Established in 2015 in response to Mallorca's housing crisis, particularly in Palma, the Anti-eviction Office has become a beacon of hope for struggling families facing eviction threats due to unaffordable mortgages and rising rent prices. Financed by the municipality, the office's primary goal is to prevent evictions by offering legal aid and guidance to affected families. Acting as a mediator between tenants, owners, and financial institutions, it strives to find solutions and emergency housing alternatives when mediation fails. With its transdisciplinary team, the office provides comprehensive assistance, streamlining housing support previously fragmented across different governmental levels.

Date

  • 2015: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Palma City Council

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Country/Region: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Description

In Mallorca, Spain, the 2008 crisis was above all a housing crisis. Mortgages could not be paid and rent was rising while luxurious houses and short-term rental tourist apartments were on the rise. In this context, Palma, its city, faced a wave of evictions. The result could have been homelessness and a social emergency situation. However, in 2015, the Anti-eviction Office was created.

The main goal of the office was to stop all the eviction processes they could. Financed by the municipality, the Anti-eviction Office offers orientation and legal aid to all the families struggling to pay the rent or threatened for eviction. Its aim is mediating between owner and tenant or between owner and financial institution. In case the mediation is not possible, the municipality tries to find an “emergency housing alternative”. The office also does a work of prevention and education, helping families to manage their rent and services. The team behind it is transdisciplinary, helping te citizens from different angles.

The biggest virtue of the Office is becoming a one-stop office regarding housing issues. Before its creation, housing was divided in three different administrations (national, regional and local government), each one with its own procedures and areas. The Office was a way to help all citizens from the same office for any issue regarding housing and eviction in a situation of emergency. In the last 8 years, the office has stopped nearly two thousand evictions, representing the 65% of the cases. Moreover, similar schemes can be found in Barcelona and other major cities of Spain.

Tourist short-term rental regulations in Palma, Mallorca, Spain

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Tourist short-term rental regulations in Palma, Mallorca, Spain

Mismatches
Policies and regulations Planning

Main objectives of the project

The new modalities of tourism endanger our cities and the option to have affordable housing. Nowhere is this reality more clear than in Mallorca. For this reason, the City Hall adopted a new regulation to protect the multi-family buildings of the city. The ban was one of the most restrictive ones in Europe: no apartment can be rented to tourist in the whole city.

Date

  • 2018: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Palma City Hall
  • Consell de Mallorca

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Country/Region: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Description

Palma is located in the south of Mallorca. It is considered one of the most touristy cities in the world. The tourist activity has been built with to features: low-salaries (to compete with other destinations in price) and land speculation. Since the 2008 crisis, as in other cities in Europe, the speculative nature of tourism moved to short-term rentals of housing units. To avoid the harsh consequences, the city hall took a drastic measure.

In 2018, the city council of Palma introduced regulations to ban all tourist rental apartments in the city, leaving only a small number of single-family homes available for rent by tourists on a short-stay basis. This measure was disputed in court. In 2022, the city hall won the case at the Suprem Court of Spain.

The interesting part of the regulation is how they used a legal loophole to implement it. In 2017, the Balearic Island Parliament approved a new regulation for tourist rental apartments. In the new law, they stated the possibility of banning new short-term rental licenses. However, a territorial plan needed to be approve. Moreover, a complete ban was not possible. There was a mandate to specify which typologies of housing and in what zoning areas the ban could be introduced. Yet, considering the urgent need of regulation in some zones, either the regional government or, only for the city, Palma’s city hall, could enforce precautionary measures.

This “urgent” regulation was thought as an instrument to define a new and provisional zoning area of the city (such as its center) and for a specific type of building. For example, to stop a new big project of tourist apartments or hotels. However, Palma declared that all the municipality should be zoned as a zoning district with urgent need for banning short-term rentals. As for the typology of housing, they ban all multifamily apartments to be rented to tourists. We have to bear in mind that multifamily buildings are overwhelmingly majority in the city. So, by using the loophole, nearly every building in the city was affected by the ban.

The territorial plan, approved two years after the ban, respected the regulation of the city. The Palma experience gives proof of how legal loopholes can empower cities to take bold regulations to face the housing crisis we live in. Now, the houses thought as affordable for people are being protected.

Valle de Jinámar Regeneration Plan

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Valle de Jinámar Regeneration Plan

Mismatches Vulnerable groups
Urban Design Environments Regulación Técnica
Promotion and production Public promotion Participatory processes
Ownership and tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

Since 2017, the Telde City Council has initiated an inclusive revitalization initiative for Valle de Jinámar, leveraging local community organizations, resident involvement, and financial support and coordination from both the Canary Islands and Spanish governments. The plan for Valle de Jinámar prioritizes the needs of its residents, aiming to empower the community in decision-making processes and foster a sense of ownership over neighborhood management and individual lives. Various stakeholders including service providers, educational institutions, governmental bodies, and businesses have participated in a collaborative effort focused on enhancing local community capacity to drive social and economic progress. Additionally, companies involved in renovation and social projects have created employment opportunities for local residents.

Date

  • 2017: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Telde City Council
  • Cabildo de Gran Canaria
  • Gobierno de Canarias
  • Spanish government
  • European Union

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Country/Region: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Description

The Canary Islands stand out as the region with the highest concentration of vulnerable populations in Spain, with Valle de Jinámar in Gran Canaria hosting a significant portion, comprising over 20% of its total population. Situated between the municipalities of Telde and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Jinámar encompasses both its historic center and the broader area known as Valle de Jinámar. This neighborhood is marked by a demographic profile featuring a considerable number of at-risk children and youth, a significant proportion of low-skilled professionals, high unemployment rates, and elevated levels of poverty and social exclusion, affecting 46.28% of families, with a disproportionate impact on women.

Initially developed in the 1970s to accommodate residents with limited economic resources through public housing, Valle de Jinámar underwent a subsequent privatization process, granting tenants ownership rights. However, it became evident that mere access to housing was insufficient to address the area's pervasive challenges. Consequently, the regeneration plan integrated social considerations, particularly focusing on the necessity for socio-educational and employment initiatives tailored to the residents. Through partnerships with local businesses, these projects were aligned with the broader regeneration efforts.

Presently, regeneration efforts have yielded refurbishments for 1,702 homes, primarily focusing on external enhancements, with an additional 434 residences undergoing renovation, while 2,573 units await rehabilitation. Beyond housing, community and sports centers, such as the "Centro Integral de la Infancia" and "Pabellón Juan Carlos Hernández," have been renovated to offer essential services and recreational opportunities to residents, addressing closures and disuse resulting from the 2008 economic crisis. Now, the “Centro Integral de la Infancia” offers psicological and educational support to the young people of the area. Moreover, after 13 years being closed, the sport center has reopened its door. Sustainable mobility emerged as a central focus, prompting the collaborative development of a mobility plan with residents and local businesses, emphasizing pedestrian-friendly initiatives and cycling infrastructure.

Addressing social challenges necessitated forging partnerships with 61 companies and local nonprofit organizations, facilitating the implementation of 135 socio-educational and employment projects spanning all age groups. The participatory nature of the renovation process was evident in the organization of workshops involving collaborating entities and apartment association representatives, as well as satisfaction surveys conducted among residents to solicit feedback. Additionally, an "Information Point" was established within the neighborhood, staffed by local technicians to provide support and promptly address community concerns.

The overarching objective of the project was to adopt an integrated approach, combining physical retrofitting with targeted social interventions to address entrenched vulnerabilities within the neighborhood comprehensively. Furthermore, governance structures involving multiple public administrations were established, ensuring community involvement in decision-making processes.

Ciclo “Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles de Canarias. Acceso a la vivienda”.

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Ciclo “Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles de Canarias. Acceso a la vivienda”.

Mismatches
Policies and regulations
Financing
Urban Design
Promotion and production
Ownership and tenure

Main objectives of the project

Date

  • 2021:

Stakeholders

  • Vicente Boissier Domínguez
  • Carmelo Ramírez Rodríguez
  • Candelaria Delgado Toledo
  • José Antonio Aguilera Núñez

Location

City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Country/Region: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Description

Diversificar los programas de vivienda pública. Equilibrar la tenencia de vivienda en propiedad y en alquiler. Mejorar el mercado del alquiler, cuantitativa y cualitativamente. Evitar la gentrificación que a menudo producen las políticas de rehabilitación, regeneración y renovación urbanas. Garantizar la coherencia y necesaria conciliación entre los planes y programas de vivienda. Garantizar la cohesión social. Mejorar las condiciones de financiación para el acceso a la vivienda.

Se trata de identificar los efectos y consecuencias de la emergencia climática en nuestras islas. Cada tema del ciclo proporciona material de debate sobre las metas más relevantes para nuestro contexto geográfico de las establecidas en el ODS-11, Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles. Temario del ciclo: Se basa en las metas ODS-11, se han agrupado algunas con características comunes y se han creado 7 bloques temáticos y una última jornada de conclusiones, celebrada durante la séptima Semana de la Arquitectura organizada por el Colegio de Arquitectos de Gran Canaria, 2021. Acceso a la vivienda Transporte público Urbanización inclusiva y sostenible Patrimonio natural y cultural Planificación de infraestructuras sostenibles Acceso a zonas verdes y espacios públicos seguros Vínculos zonas urbanas, periurbanas y rurales Conclusiones durante la semana de la Arquitectura

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