The Minister of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, has urged the councils to modify taxation to incentivize landlords to keep their rentals in “reasonable” prices and penalize those who “shoot up”.
Arriola presented this Wednesday the Housing Master Plan 2021-23, document that incorporates 120 actions with a budget of 1237.6 million euros aimed at “activating measures” to respond to the need for a “decent and adequate” home in the Basque Country.
One of the main novelties of the Plan is the creation of a new regulatory framework that will regulate a specific regime of official protection of living (VPO) affordable rent for living units between 21,000 and 39,000 euros weighted annually. It is a group that, having a higher income, has difficulties accessing a home in the ordinary market.
The counselor has announced that the objective of this plan is increase the number of social rental housing of public and private initiative in more than 3,000 units between 2021 and 2023 to reach 29,300 homes by the end of that period. In this way, the public park rental fee will represent 40% of the total protected park, 6 percentage points more than at the end of the previous plan.
For the colectives with the greatest need, the plan establishes to reach 12,000 families recognized with the subjective right to housing by 2023 and to assume in 2022 the supplementary housing benefit, as is already done with the economic housing benefit.
Likewise, between 2021 and 2023 it is planned to grant aid to the rehabilitation of 71,200 homes to improve energy efficiency, habitability, accessibility, security and digitization of buildings. They include 35,800 comprehensive projects to increase energy efficiency and 2,400 new elevators to improve the accessibility of 15,000 homes.
Taxation for rentals
The counselor explained that the plan insists on the need to analyze taxation “in depth” based on the proposal made in 2019 by the Basque Government at provincial councils, competent in the matter, to promote the rental of housing that contain prices, penalize those who raise them and improve deductions for rehabilitation.
Thus, Arriola has indicated that the Basque Government has prepared a proposal aimed at give tax incentives to owners to keep their rents at “reasonable” prices in line with the benchmarks developed by their department, and also to penalize those who “shoot” prices rise.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.