Yes, We Rent! - Leveraging vacant private property to build up a cooperative affordable housing scheme


Yes, We Rent! - Leveraging vacant private property to build up a cooperative affordable housing scheme

Policies and regulations Participatory processes
Financing Public funding Indirect opportunities
Promotion and production Innovation Self-management Cooperatives Management and maintenance
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

"Yes, We Rent!" is a social rent scheme in Mataró, Spain, addressing housing shortages and affordability issues. It aims to activate vacant flats for rental, offering below-market rates through guaranteed rents and renovation support. The initiative also trains at-risk teenagers for employment in housing renovation, tackling both housing and socio-economic challenges simultaneously.


  • 2019: En proceso


  • Constructor: Ajuntament de Mataró


Country/Region: Mataró


The social housing sector in Mataró fails to meet demand, comprising just 265 units while 1400 households remain on the waiting list. Additionally, approximately 3,500 properties sit vacant due to owners lacking renovation resources or fearing unpaid rents. This situation presents both challenges and opportunities. "Yes We Rent!" aims to address this by repurposing these vacant properties to create accessible housing for medium-income households. Through offering guaranteed rent and financial support for renovations, the project incentivizes risk-averse owners to participate in the affordable housing scheme at below-market rates. A portion of the benefits is retained to strengthen and expand the initiative and to employ at-risk youth people in the renovation efforts. Moreover, "Yes We Rent!" explores a multi-stakeholder cooperative model, leveraging public funding and cooperative empowerment to engage tenants in self-help initiatives, service development, and new property recruitment. By harnessing the potential of the social and cooperative sectors, "Yes We Rent!" seeks to redefine roles and relationships in the local rental housing market. The project aims to significantly increase the affordability of rental housing in Mataró by acquiring a substantial number of privately-owned affordable flats—targeting at least 200 units—and offering them at below-market prices to at least 450 individuals in need of housing. This initiative will test a replicable organizational and economic model, with the City Council establishing the scheme and providing initial financing for a mixed multi-stakeholder cooperative that is intended to evolve into a sustainable autonomous entity in the housing market.